Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), a probiotics, ameliorates intestinal and other organ inflammation in infant rats. The hypothesis is that live and heat-killed LGG have similar effects on decreasing the inflammatory response induced by E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the infant rat. Using a gastrostomy-fed rat model, 7-d-old rat pups were gastrostomy fed with or without live LGG (10(8) or 10(12) cfu x L(-1) x kg(-1) x d(-1)) for 6 d. In a separate experiment, LPS was administered to rat pups with or without live or heat-killed LGG (10(8) cfu x L(-1) x kg(-1) x d(-1)). Cytokine/chemokine proteins were determined by ELISA or multiplex assay. Both live and heat-killed LGG decreased LPS-induced cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 (CINC-1) production in liver and plasma (p < 0.05) and also showed a trend (p = 0.09) in lungs. Live and heat-killed LGG ameliorated LPS-suppressed IL-10 level in lungs (p < 0.05). Both forms of LGG decreased IL-1b production in liver. There was no difference between low and high doses of live LGG in the production of CINC-1, TNF-alpha, and myeloperoxidase (MPO). There was a trend of increase of claudin-1 in both live and heat-killed groups (p = 0.08). In conclusion, both live and heat-killed LGG provided by the enteral route decrease LPS-induced proinflammatory mediators and increase anti-inflammatory mediators.