Differential suppression of heat-killed lactobacilli isolated from kimchi, a Korean traditional food, on airway hyper-responsiveness in mice

J Clin Immunol. 2010 May;30(3):449-58. doi: 10.1007/s10875-010-9375-8. Epub 2010 Mar 5.


Rationale: Probiotics have been shown to be effective in reducing allergic symptoms. However, there are few studies to evaluate the therapeutic effects of lactobacilli on allergen-induced airway inflammation.

Objective: We investigated whether three heat-killed lactobacilli, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus sakei subsp. sakei, isolated from kimchi, exerted inhibitory effects on airway hyper-responsiveness in a murine asthma model.

Methods: Heat-killed lactic acid bacteria were orally administered into BALB/c mice, followed by challenge with aerosolized ovalbumin, after which allergic symptoms were evaluated.

Results: Airway inflammation was suppressed in the L. plantarum- and L. curvatus-treated mice. Interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 levels were significantly lower in the L. plantarum- and L. curvatus-treated mice than in those treated with L. sakei subsp. sakei. Importantly, heat-killed L. plantarum administration induced Foxp3 expression in intestinal lamina propria cells, and heat-killed L. curvatus induced IL-10 as a way of inducing tolerance.

Conclusion: Specific strains of lactobacilli isolated from kimchi can effectively suppress airway hyper-responsiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / microbiology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / immunology*
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / microbiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Hot Temperature
  • Immunization
  • Lactobacillus / immunology*
  • Medicine, Korean Traditional
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mucous Membrane / metabolism*
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Ovalbumin / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxp3 protein, mouse
  • Ovalbumin