Neonatal colonization of mice with Lactobacillus plantarum producing the aeroallergen Bet v 1 biases towards Th1 and T-regulatory responses upon systemic sensitization

Allergy. 2011 Mar;66(3):368-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02488.x. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Background: The use of recombinant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as vehicles for mucosal delivery of recombinant allergens is an attractive concept for antigen-defined allergy prevention/treatment. Interventions with LAB are of increasing interest early in life when immune programming is initiated. Here, we investigated the effect of neonatal colonization with a recombinant LAB producing the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 in a murine model of type I allergy.

Methods: We constructed a recombinant Lactobacillus (L.) plantarum NCIMB8826 strain constitutively producing Bet v 1 to be used for natural mother-to-offspring mono-colonization of germ-free BALB/c mice. Allergen-specific immunomodulatory effects of the colonization on humoral and cellular immune responses were investigated prior and after sensitization to Bet v 1.

Results: Mono-colonization with the Bet v 1 producing L. plantarum induced a Th1-biased immune response at the cellular level, evident in IFN-γ production of splenocytes upon stimulation with Bet v 1. After sensitization with Bet v 1 these mice displayed suppressed IL-4 and IL-5 production in spleen and mesenteric lymph node cell cultures as well as decreased allergen-specific antibody responses (IgG1, IgG2a, and IgE) in sera. This suppression was associated with a significant up-regulation of the regulatory marker Foxp3 at the mRNA level in the spleen cells.

Conclusion: Intervention at birth with a live recombinant L. plantarum producing a clinically relevant allergen reduces experimental allergy and might therefore become an effective strategy for early intervention against the onset of allergic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / administration & dosage
  • Allergens / genetics
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antigens, Plant / genetics
  • Antigens, Plant / immunology*
  • Betula / genetics
  • Betula / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate
  • Immunization*
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / immunology
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / genetics*
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Pollen / genetics
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Cytokines
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxp3 protein, mouse
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes