Effects of the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii on the neurochemistry of myenteric neurones in pig jejunum

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2004 Feb;16(1):53-60. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2982.2003.00458.x.


We studied the effects of food supplementation with Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii; synonym S. cerevisiae HANSEN CBS 5926; 1 g per day for 9 days) on the presence and co-localization patterns of neuronal markers in myenteric neurones of the pig jejunum. The pan neuronal marker Hu revealed no change in the number of neuronal cell bodies per ganglion (37 +/- 7 in control vs 34 +/- 9 in the S. boulardii group). Ranked by size the following cell populations were identified: choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), calbindin-28k (CALB), substance P (SP), neurofilament 160 kD (NF-160), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), calretinin (CALRET). We found a significant decrease in the number of CALB myenteric neurones in animals which received S. boulardii supplemented diet. None of the other neuronal markers revealed any difference between controls and S. boulardii treated animals. The study reports transmitter-localization patterns in the myenteric plexus of the pig jejunum and provides evidence that changes in the neurochemistry of enteric neurones occur with S. boulardii supplemented diet. Although only CALB expression was altered and the functional significance of this finding remains unknown, our study identified a possible new effector level of probiotics in the gut.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calbindins
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Food Additives / pharmacology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Jejunum / microbiology
  • Jejunum / physiology
  • Myenteric Plexus / microbiology*
  • Myenteric Plexus / physiology*
  • Neurons / microbiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces*
  • Swine


  • Calbindins
  • Food Additives
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase