Anti-inflammatory effects of Saccharomyces boulardii mediated by myeloid dendritic cells from patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011 Dec;301(6):G1083-92. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00217.2011. Epub 2011 Sep 8.


Saccharomyces boulardii (Sb) is a probiotic yeast that has demonstrated efficacy in pilot studies in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Microbial antigen handling by dendritic cells (DC) is believed to be of critical importance for immunity and tolerance in IBD. The aim was to characterize the effects of Sb on DC from IBD patients. Highly purified (>95%), lipopolysaccharide-stimulated CD1c(+)CD11c(+)CD123(-) myeloid DC (mDC) from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC; n = 36), Crohn's disease (CD; n = 26), or infectious controls (IC; n = 4) were cultured in the presence or absence of fungal supernatant from Sb (SbS). Phenotype and cytokine production and/or secretion of IBD mDC were measured by flow cytometry and cytometric bead arrays, respectively. T cell phenotype and proliferation were assessed in a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) with allogenic CD4(+)CD45RA(+) naïve T cells from healthy donors. Mucosal healing was investigated in epithelial wounding and migration assays with IEC-6 cells. SbS significantly decreased the frequency of CD40-, CD80-, and CD197 (CCR7; chemokine receptor-7)-expressing IBD mDC and reduced their secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 while increasing IL-8. In the MLR, SbS significantly inhibited T cell proliferation induced by IBD mDC. Moreover, SbS inhibited T(H)1 (TNF-α and interferon-γ) polarization induced by UC mDC and promoted IL-8 and transforming growth factor-β-dependent mucosal healing. In summary, we provide novel evidence of synergistic mechanisms how Sb controls inflammation (inhibition of T cell costimulation and inflammation-associated migration and mobilization of DC) and promotes epithelial restitution relevant in IBD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B7-1 Antigen / metabolism
  • CD40 Antigens / metabolism
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / immunology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / microbiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / therapy
  • Crohn Disease* / immunology
  • Crohn Disease* / microbiology
  • Crohn Disease* / therapy
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Male
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, CCR7 / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces / classification
  • Saccharomyces / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • B7-1 Antigen
  • CD40 Antigens
  • CXCL8 protein, human
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha