Background: Disruption of the intestinal homeostasis and tolerance towards the resident microbiota is a major mechanism involved in the development of inflammatory bowel disease. While some bacteria are inducers of disease, others, known as probiotics, are able to reduce inflammation. Because dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in regulating immune responses and in inducing tolerance, we investigated their role in the anti-inflammatory potential of probiotic lactic acid bacteria.
Methodology/principal findings: Selected LAB strains, while efficiently taken up by DCs in vitro, induced a partial maturation of the cells. Transfer of probiotic-treated DCs conferred protection against 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis. Protection was associated with a reduction of inflammatory scores and colonic expression of pro-inflammatory genes, while a high local expression of the immunoregulatory enzyme indolamine 2, 3 dioxgenase (IDO) was observed. The preventive effect of probiotic-pulsed DCs required not only MyD88-, TLR2- and NOD2-dependent signaling but also the induction of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory cells in an IL-10-independent pathway.
Conclusions/significance: Altogether, these results suggest that selected probiotics can stimulate DC regulatory functions by targeting specific pattern-recognition receptors and pathways. The results not only emphasize the role of DCs in probiotic immune interactions, but indicate a possible role in immune-intervention therapy for IBD.