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.