Correlation between in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory properties of lactic acid bacteria

World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jan 14;13(2):236-43. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i2.236.


Aim: To investigate the correlation between in vitro and in vivo immunomodulation potential of the probiotic strain and its ability to prevent experimental colitis in mice.

Methods: In vitro immunomodulation was assessed by measuring interleukin (IL)-12p70, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interferon gamma (IFNgamma) release by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) after 24 h stimulation with 13 live bacterial strains. A murine model of acute TNBS-colitis was next used to evaluate the prophylactic protective capacity of the same set of strains.

Results: A strain-specific in vivo protection was observed. The strains displaying an in vitro potential to induce higher levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and lower levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-12, offered the best protection in the in vivo colitis model. In contrast, strains leading to a low IL-10/IL-12 cytokine ratio could not significantly attenuate colitis symptoms.

Conclusion: These results show that we could predict the in vivo protective capacity of the studied lactic acid bacteria (LAB) based on the cytokine profile we established in vitro. The PBMC-based assay we used may thus serve as a useful primary indicator to narrow down the number of candidate strains to be tested in murine models for their anti-inflammatory potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / prevention & control*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Probiotics / pharmacology
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid / toxicity


  • Cytokines
  • Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid