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Concept: Lactobacillus rhamnosus


Changes in the human gastrointestinal microbiome are associated with several diseases. To infer causality, experiments in representative models are essential, but widely used animal models exhibit limitations. Here we present a modular, microfluidics-based model (HuMiX, human-microbial crosstalk), which allows co-culture of human and microbial cells under conditions representative of the gastrointestinal human-microbe interface. We demonstrate the ability of HuMiX to recapitulate in vivo transcriptional, metabolic and immunological responses in human intestinal epithelial cells following their co-culture with the commensal Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) grown under anaerobic conditions. In addition, we show that the co-culture of human epithelial cells with the obligate anaerobe Bacteroides caccae and LGG results in a transcriptional response, which is distinct from that of a co-culture solely comprising LGG. HuMiX facilitates investigations of host-microbe molecular interactions and provides insights into a range of fundamental research questions linking the gastrointestinal microbiome to human health and disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Archaea, Epidemiology, Disease, Bacteria, Microbiology, Epithelium, Lactobacillus rhamnosus


A mechanistic understanding of the purported health benefits conferred by consumption of probiotic bacteria has been limited by our knowledge of the resident gut microbiota and its interaction with the host. Here, we detail the impact of a single-organism probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 (LGG), on the structure and functional dynamics (gene expression) of the gut microbiota in a study of 12 healthy individuals, 65 to 80 years old. The analysis revealed that while the overall community composition was stable as assessed by 16S rRNA profiling, the transcriptional response of the gut microbiota was modulated by probiotic treatment. Comparison of transcriptional profiles based on taxonomic composition yielded three distinct transcriptome groups that displayed considerable differences in functional dynamics. The transcriptional profile of LGG in vivo was remarkably concordant across study subjects despite the considerable interindividual nature of the gut microbiota. However, we identified genes involved in flagellar motility, chemotaxis, and adhesion from Bifidobacterium and the dominant butyrate producers Roseburia and Eubacterium whose expression was increased during probiotic consumption, suggesting that LGG may promote interactions between key constituents of the microbiota and the host epithelium. These results provide evidence for the discrete functional effects imparted by a specific single-organism probiotic and challenge the prevailing notion that probiotics substantially modify the resident microbiota within nondiseased individuals in an appreciable fashion.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Bacteria, Gut flora, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus


Gut microbiota dysbiosis and metabolic dysfunction in infancy precedes childhood atopy and asthma development. Here we examined gut microbiota maturation over the first year of life in infants at high risk for asthma (HR), and whether it is modifiable by early-life Lactobacillus supplementation. We performed a longitudinal comparison of stool samples collected from HR infants randomized to daily oral Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (HRLGG) or placebo (HRP) for 6 months, and healthy (HC) infants. Meconium microbiota of HRP participants is distinct, follows a delayed developmental trajectory, and is primarily glycolytic and depleted of a range of anti-inflammatory lipids at 6 months of age. These deficits are partly rescued in HRLGG infants, but this effect was lost at 12 months of age, 6 months after cessation of supplementation. Thus we show that early-life gut microbial development is distinct, but plastic, in HR infants. Our findings offer a novel strategy for early-life preventative interventions.

Concepts: Infant, Bacteria, Gut flora, Microbiology, Feces, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus


Stress-related disorders involve systemic alterations, including disruption of the intestinal microbial community. Given the putative connections between the microbiota, immunity, neural function, and behaviour, we investigated the potential for microbe-induced gut-to-brain signalling to modulate the impact of stress on host behaviour and immunoregulation.

Concepts: Immune system, Psychology, Bacteria, Microbiology, Innate immune system, Lactobacillus rhamnosus


Worldwide there is increasing interest in the manipulation of human gut microbiota by the use of probiotic supplements to modify or prevent a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Probiotic interventions administered during pregnancy and breastfeeding offer a unique opportunity to influence a range of important maternal and infant outcomes. The aim of the Probiotics in Pregnancy Study (PiP Study) is to assess if supplementation by the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 administered to women from early pregnancy and while breastfeeding can reduce the rates of infant eczema and atopic sensitisation at 1 year, and maternal gestational diabetes mellitus, bacterial vaginosis and Group B Streptococcal vaginal colonisation before birth, and depression and anxiety postpartum.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Gut flora, Diabetes mellitus, Gestational diabetes, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus


Recent studies suggested that manipulation of the composition of the microbial ecosystem in the gut might be a novel approach in the treatment of obesity. Such treatment might consist of altering the composition of the microbial communities of an obese individual by administration of beneficial microorganisms, commonly known as probiotics. Here, we intend to contribute to the developmental process of probiotic treatment of human obesity. The aim is to review the evidence regarding the potential effect of probiotic strains on reduction of weight and body fat. A literature study was conducted focusing on clinical trials that examined the effect of specific microorganisms on body weight control. Analysis of the eligible articles pointed out that Lactobacillus gasseri SBT 2055, Lactobacillus rhamnosus ATCC 53103, and the combination of L. rhamnosus ATCC 53102 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 may reduce adiposity, body weight, and weight gain. This suggests that these microbial strains can be applied in the treatment of obesity. Furthermore, short chain fatty acid production and low grade inflammation were found as the underlying mechanisms of action that influence metabolism and affect body weight. These findings might contribute to the development of probiotic treatment of obesity. Further research should be directed to the most effective combination and dosage rate of probiotic microorganisms.

Concepts: Gut flora, Nutrition, Microbiology, Obesity, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Probiotics


The suitability of three potential probiotic lactobacilli strains (Lactobacillus casei CTC1677, L. casei CTC1678 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CTC1679), previously isolated from infants' faeces and characterized, and three commercial probiotic strains (Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, L. rhamnosus GG and L. casei Shirota) was assessed during the manufacture of low-acid fermented sausages (fuets) with reduced Na(+) and fat content. The inoculated strains were successfully monitored by RAPD-PCR during the process. L. rhamnosus CTC1679 was the only strain able to grow and dominate (levels ca. 10(8)CFU/g) the endogenous lactic acid bacteria population in two independent trials, throughout the ripening process. Thus, fuet containing L. rhamnosus CTC1679 as a starter culture could be a suitable vehicle for putative probiotic bacteria delivery. All the final products recorded a satisfactory overall sensory quality without any noticeable off-flavour, and with the characteristic sensory properties of low-acid fermented sausages.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Microbiology, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillaceae


Two experiments examined probiotic pretreatment (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-like behavior induction by RU 24969 in BALB/cJ house mice. In the first experiment, two groups were defined by their daily pretreatment by oral gavage of either (a) L. rhamnosus (1×10 CFU/day) or (b) the saline vehicle. Both a 2- and 4-week probiotic pretreatment attenuated OCD-like behavior induction (increased perseverative open-field locomotion, stereotypic turning, and marble burying) relative to saline pretreatment. Experiment 2 re-examined the 2-week probiotic pretreatment while also comparing it to a 4-week fluoxetine pretreatment. Again, groups were defined by daily pretreatment of either (a) L. rhamnosus for 2 weeks, (b) the saline vehicle for 2 weeks, or © fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) for 4 weeks. Pretreatment by either L. rhamnosus or fluoxetine blocked the induction of OCD-like behavior compared with saline pretreatment. Thus the 2-week probiotic pretreatment was again effective. Although side effects of fluoxetine or L. rhamnosus on androgen-dependent behaviors could not be demonstrated, L. rhamnosus treatment appeared comparable to fluoxetine treatment in attenuating mouse OCD-like behaviors.

Concepts: Microbiology, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Mouse, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillaceae, Probiotics


Systemic supplementation with probiotics is increasingly being explored as a potential treatment strategy for skin disorders. Because both the gut-skin axis and dysregulation of insulin signalling have been implicated in the pathogenesis of adult acne, we designed the current study to evaluate the effect of supplementation with the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 (LSP1) on skin expression of genes involved in insulin signalling and acne improvement in adult subjects. A pilot, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 20 adult subjects (14 females and 6 males; mean age: 33.7±3.3 years) with acne. Over a 12-week period, the probiotic group (n=10) consumed a liquid supplement containing LSP1 at a dose of 3×109 cfu/day (75 mg/day), whereas the placebo group (n=10) received a liquid lacking probiotics. Paired skin biopsies - one obtained before treatment initiation and one obtained at the end of the 12-week treatment period - were analysed for insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) gene expression. The clinical criterion for efficacy was the investigator’s global improvement rating on a five-point scale. Compared with baseline, the probiotic group showed a 32% (P<0.001) reduction, as well as a 65% increase (P<0.001) in IGF1 and FOXO1 gene expression in the skin, respectively. No such differences were observed in the placebo group. Patients in the probiotic group had an adjusted odds ratio of 28.4 (95% confidence interval = 2.2-411.1, P<0.05) to be rated by physicians as improved/markedly improved (versus worsened or unchanged) compared with the placebo group. We conclude that supplementation with the probiotic strain LSP1 normalises skin expression of genes involved in insulin signalling and improves the appearance of adult acne.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Bacteria, Evolution, Transcription, Transcription factor, Lactobacillus rhamnosus


Four Lactobacillus strains were isolated from marketed probiotic products, including L. rhamnosus strains from Vifit (Friesland Campina) and Idoform (Ferrosan), and L.casei strains from Actimel (Danone) and Yakult (Yakult Honsa Co.), respectively. Their genomes and phenotypes were characterized and compared in detail with L. casei strain BL23 and L. rhamnosus strain GG. Phenotypic analysis of the new isolates indicated differences in carbohydrate utilization between L. casei and L. rhamnosus strains, which could be linked to their genotypes. The two isolated L. rhamnosus strains had virtually identical genomes to L. rhamnosus GG, testifying for their genomic stability and integrity in food products. The L. casei strains showed much greater genomic heterogeneity. Remarkably, all strains contained an intact spaCBA pili gene cluster. However, only the L. rhamnosus strains produced mucus-binding SpaCBA pili under the conditions tested. Transcription initiation mapping demonstrated the insertion of an iso-IS30 element upstream of the pili gene cluster in L. rhamnosus strains but absent in L. casei strains had constituted a functional promoter driving the pili gene expression. All L. rhamnosus strains triggered an NF-κB response via the TLR-2 receptor in a reporter cell line, whereas the L. casei strains did not or to a much smaller extent. This study demonstrates that the two L. rhamnosus strains isolated from probiotic products are virtually identical to L. rhamnosus GG and further highlights the differences between these and L. casei strains widely-marketed as probiotics, in terms of genome-content, mucus-binding and metabolic capacity, and host signalling capabilities.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Microbiology, Probiotic, Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Yakult