Role of interleukin (IL-10) in probiotic-mediated immune modulation: an assessment in wild-type and IL-10 knock-out mice

Clin Exp Immunol. 2006 May;144(2):273-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2006.03051.x.


While the impact of Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 and other probiotics on cytokines has been shown in established colitis, the effects of B. infantis consumption in pre-inflammation of interleukin (IL)-10 knock-out (KO) mice and on the wild-type (WT) C57Bl/6 mice have not been well demonstrated. The objective of this study was to examine cytokine responses in mucosal and systemic lymphoid compartments of IL-10 KO mice early in disease and to compare with control WT mice. Mice were fed B. infantis or placebo for 5 weeks and culled prior to the onset of chronic intestinal inflammation (12-14 weeks). The spleen, Peyer's patches and intestinal mucosa were removed and stimulated with various bacterial stimuli. Cytokine levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. While basal intestinal and systemic cytokine profiles of WT and IL-10 KO mice were similar, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta was reduced in the spleen of IL-10 KO mice. Following probiotic consumption, interferon (IFN)-gamma was reduced in the Peyer's patch of both WT and IL-10 KO mice. Alterations in IFN-gamma in the Peyer's patches of WT mice (enhancement) versus IL-10 KO (reduction) were observed following in vitro stimulation with salmonella. Differential IL-12p40, CCL2 and CCL5 responses were also observed in IL-10 KO mice and WT mice. The cytokine profile of IL-10 KO mice in early disease was similar to that of WT mice. The most pronounced changes occurred in the Peyer's patch of IL-10 KO mice, suggesting a probiotic mechanism of action independent of IL-10. This study provides a rationale for the use of B. infantis 35624 for the treatment of gastrointestinal inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium / immunology*
  • Colitis / immunology*
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Probiotics*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma