Potential probiotic Kluyveromyces marxianus B0399 modulates the immune response in Caco-2 cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells and impacts the human gut microbiota in an in vitro colonic model system

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Feb;78(4):956-64. doi: 10.1128/AEM.06385-11. Epub 2011 Dec 9.


Considering the increase in the consumption of yeasts as human probiotics, the aim of this study was to broadly investigate the beneficial properties of the lactic yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus (formerly Kluyveromyces fragilis) B0399. Several potential probiotic traits of K. marxianus B0399 were investigated by using in vitro assays, including adhesion and immune modulation, and the effect of the administration of 10(7) CFU/day of K. marxianus B0399 on the composition and metabolic activity of the human intestinal microbiota was investigated in a 3-stage continuous-culture system simulating the human colon. We demonstrated that this strain was highly adhesive to human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells and modulated the immune response, inducing proinflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In the presence of inflammatory stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), K. marxianus B0399 provoked decreases in the levels of production of proinflammatory cytokines in PBMCs and Caco-2 cells, thus ameliorating the inflammatory response. Furthermore, K. marxianus B0399 impacted the colonic microbiota, increasing the bifidobacterial concentration in the stages of the colonic model system simulating the proximal and transverse colon. The amounts of the short-chain fatty acids acetate and propionate also increased following yeast supplementation. Finally, K. marxianus B0399 was found to induce a decrease of the cytotoxic potential of the culture supernatant from the first stage of the colonic model system. The effects of K. marxianus B0399 on adhesion, immune function, and colonic microbiota demonstrate that this strain possesses a number of beneficial and strain-specific properties desirable for a microorganism considered for application as a probiotic.

MeSH terms

  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Kluyveromyces / growth & development*
  • Kluyveromyces / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Metagenome*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*


  • Cytokines