Bifidobacteria inhibit the inflammatory response induced by gliadins in intestinal epithelial cells via modifications of toxic peptide generation during digestion

J Cell Biochem. 2010 Mar 1;109(4):801-7. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22459.


Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic enteropathy triggered by intake of gliadin, the toxic component of gluten. This study aims at evaluating the capacity of different Bifidobacterium strains to counteract the inflammatory effects of gliadin-derived peptides in intestinal epithelial (Caco-2) cells. A commercial extract of several gliadin (Gld) types (alpha, beta, gamma, [symbol: see text] ) was subjected to in vitro gastrointestinal digestion (pepsin at pH 3, pancreatin-bile at pH 6), inoculated or not with cell suspensions (10(8) colony forming units/ml) of either B. animalis IATA-A2, B. longum IATA-ES1, or B. bifidum IATA-ES2, in a bicameral system. The generated gliadin-derived peptides were identified by reverse phase-HPLC-ESI-MS/MS. Caco-2 cell cultures were exposed to the different gliadin peptide digestions (0.25 mg protein/ml), and the mRNA expression of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappaB), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and chemokine CXCR3 receptor were analyzed by semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in stimulated cells. The production of the pro-inflammatory markers NF-kappaB p50, TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta (interleukine 1beta) by Caco-2 cells was also determined by ELISA. The peptides from gliadin digestions inoculated with bifidobacteria did not exhibit the toxic amino acid sequences identified in those noninoculated (alpha/beta-Gld [158-164] and alpha/beta-Gld [122-141]). The RT-PCR analysis evidenced a down-regulation in mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory biomarkers. Consistent with these results the production of NF-kappaB, TNF-alpha, and IL-1beta was reduced (18.2-22.4%, 28.0-64.8%, and abolished, respectively) in cell cultures exposed to gliadin digestions inoculated with bifidobacteria. Therefore, bifidobacteria change the gliadin-derived peptide pattern and, thereby, attenuate their pro-inflammatory effects on Caco-2 cells.

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium*
  • Biological Therapy
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Celiac Disease
  • Digestion
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Gliadin / metabolism
  • Gliadin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity


  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Gliadin