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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Probiotic Modulation of Immune Response in Gluten Sensitivity

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    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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    So how do we interpret this? What is the end result of DC maturation? What does induced TNF- alpha expression result in? So are you saying we should maybe avoid yogurt that has live lactobacillus cultures?

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    I agree with Hallie. This article is confusing and leaves me wondering if probiotics are not useful for celiacs. What I would really find helpful is some translation of the medicalese (what does "inductive" mean in this context?) and interpretation of the results as to what they mean for people with celiac disease.

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    I would like to give this article a high rating, because this is an important and intriguing topic. However, as with most of Jefferson Adams' essays, it is too dense with medical research terminology, and completely lacking in vernacular translation. He might was well simply say, "Hey, there's some great new research. Here's the link to the scientific journal...." Like Hallie, I am left wondering whether the high-culture yoghurt I eat nightly is good or bad for my Celiac Disease.

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    I am glad to see this article and think it is great, yet I can understand the confusing feeling one might feel.

    I am a nurse and have read so many articles that over time; I can interpret them better. The second to last sentence explains best; look for those specific probiotics in your supplements ;whether they be yogurt or pill form.

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    Probiotics have been attributed many beneficial effects in the health of the intestine, including some protection against intestinal wall permeability. The permeability of the intestinal lining is altered in celiacs, so probiotics have been suggested to be beneficial for us because of this effect. In the study presented here, scientists gave probiotics to mice that are sensitive to gluten in an attempt to modulate the immune response that gluten triggers in celiac patients, which is one of the mechanisms of the disease (in addition to the increased permeability and others). However, instead of observing a decrease in the response, some strains of probiotics actually stimulated the production of molecules that are pro-inflammatory, suggesting that this response might not be beneficial for celiacs. No one single research study is definite as they evaluate different aspects of one problem. Research in celiac disease is still ongoing, so the benefits of probiotics for celiac patients can not be clearly and indisputably established yet.

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    Thanks for writing, I understand your frustration with certain

    articles being highly technical. Most articles are based on abstracts from studies. Some can be highly technical and aimed not at laypeople, but at clinicians and researchers. That, coupled with the fact that scientists sometimes write unclearly, so deciphering them can sometimes be doubly challenging.

     

    I've rewritten the conclusion to the article in an effort to make it

    more clear. See below.

     

    These trials were done on live mice, and so have little direct

    application to humans. Moreover, it's focusing on specific probiotic strains.

     

    Here's the revised conclusion to the article:

     

    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.

     

     

    I hope that helps!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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