We compared immunomodulatory properties of 11 strains of lactic acid bacteria as well as their capacity to enhance sublingual immunotherapy efficacy in a murine asthma model. Two types of bacterial strains were identified, including: (i) potent inducers of IL-12p70 and IL-10 in dendritic cells, supporting IFN-gamma and IL-10 production in CD4+ T cells such as Lactobacillus helveticus; (ii) pure Th1 inducers such as L. casei. Sublingual administration in ovalbumin-sensitized mice of L. helveticus, but not L. casei, reduced airways hyperresponsiveness, bronchial inflammation and proliferation of specific T cells in cervical lymph nodes. Thus, probiotics acting as a Th1/possibly Treg, but not Th1 adjuvant, potentiate tolerance induction via the sublingual route.
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