Celiac.com 11/02/2009 - When it comes to health and wellness, probiotics are the new black. Their role in promoting beneficial gut bacteria and in mediating adverse gut reactions is gaining a great deal of attention and study among the nutrition and health-minded. This is also true in the field of celiac disease research, where the role of probiotic strains in positively influencing various immune reactions within the gut is drawing clinical study and a good deal of interest.

A number of strains of probiotic bacteria are important in regulating certain activities in gut-associated lymphoid tissue. By better understanding exactly what factors control probiotic-driven immuno-modulation, researchers hope to improve their role in the treatment, or even prevention, of specific immune-mediated diseases.

A team of Italian researchers recently set out to examine the effects of various strains of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium lactis in transgenic mice expressing the human DQ8 heterodimer, a HLA molecule linked to celiac disease. The research team was made up of R. D'Arienzo, F. Maurano, P. Lavermicocca, E. Ricca, and M. Rossi of the Institute of Food Sciences, CNR, in Avellino, Italy.

The team used live mice mucosally immunized with the gluten component gliadin. To support their efforts, the team conducted in vitro analysis on immature bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (iBMDCs). Their results revealed that all strains up-regulated surface B7-2 (CD86), indicating DC maturation, but with varying intensity.

No probiotic strain triggered significant levels of IL-10 or IL-12 in iBMDCs, whereas Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus fermentum basically induced TNF-alpha expression. Notably, when probiotic bacteria were co-administered in live mice with mucosa immunized with the gluten component gliadin, each of these strains increased the antigen-specific TNF-alpha secretion.

The results indicate that probiotics promote strain-specific reactions that support, rather than suppress, the innate and adaptive immune systems of live mice with gluten antigen sensitivity. Using live mice models to better understand the role of probiotic bacteria in mediating immune response to gliadin and other food proteins provides important insight into how such immune responses may be mediated in humans. Such insights will help to speed better treatments for celiac disease and possibly other food-triggered immune reactions. This study supports the notion that Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium lactis strains may be helpful in promoting better gut health for sufferers of celiac disease. However, further research in humans is needed for conclusive evidence.

Source:
Cytokine. September 5th, 2009.

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