Background: This study was performed to evaluate anti-inflammatory and immune modulating properties of the probiotic, spore-forming bacterial strain: Bacillus coagulans: GBI-30, (PTA-6086, GanedenBC30TM). In addition, cell wall and metabolite fractions were assayed separately to address whether biological effects were due to cell wall components only, or whether secreted compounds from live bacteria had additional biological properties. The spores were heat-activated, and bacterial cultures were grown. The culture supernatant was harvested as a source of metabolites (MTB), and the bacteria were used to isolate cell wall fragments (CW). Both of these fractions were compared in a series of in vitro assays.
Results: Both MTB and CW inhibited spontaneous and oxidative stress-induced ROS formation in human PMN cells and increased the phagocytic activity of PMN cells in response to bacteria-like carboxylated fluorospheres. Both fractions supported random PMN and f-MLP-directed PMN cell migration, indicating a support of immune surveillance and antibacterial defense mechanisms. In contrast, low doses of both fractions inhibited PMN cell migration towards the inflammatory mediators IL-8 and LTB4. The anti-inflammatory activity was strongest for CW, where the PMN migration towards IL-8 was inhibited down to dilutions of 1010.Both MTB and CW induced the expression of the CD69 activation marker on human CD3- CD56+ NK cells, and enhanced the expression of CD107a when exposed to K562 tumor cells in vitro.The fractions directly modulated cytokine production, inducing production of the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10, and inhibiting production of IL-2.Both fractions further modulated mitogen-induced cytokine production in the following manner: Both fractions enhanced the PHA-induced production of IL-6 and reduced the PHA-induced production of TNF-alpha. Both fractions enhanced the PWM-induced production of TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma. In addition, MTB also enhanced both the PHA- and the PWM-induced expression of IL-10.
Conclusion: The data suggest that consumption of GanedenBC30TM may introduce both cell wall components and metabolites that modulate inflammatory processes in the gut. Both the cell wall and the supernatant possess strong immune modulating properties in vitro. The anti-inflammatory effects, combined with direct induction of IL-10, are of interest with respect to possible treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases as well as in support of a healthy immune system.