Effect of probiotics Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium on gut-derived lipopolysaccharides and inflammatory cytokines: an in vitro study using a human colonic microbiota model

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;23(4):518-26. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1205.05018.


Gut-derived lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are critical to the development and progression of chronic low-grade inflammation and metabolic diseases. In this study, the effects of probiotics Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium on gut-derived lipopolysaccharide and inflammatory cytokine concentrations were evaluated using a human colonic microbiota model. Lactobacillus reuteri, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, Bifidobacterium animalis, B. bifidum, B. longum, and B. longum subsp. infantis were identified from the literature for their anti-inflammatory potential. Each bacterial culture was administered daily to a human colonic microbiota model during 14 days. Colonic lipopolysaccharides, and Gram-positive and negative bacteria were quantified. RAW 264.7 macrophage cells were stimulated with supernatant from the human colonic microbiota model. Concentrations of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-4 cytokines were measured. Lipopolysaccharide concentrations were significantly reduced with the administration of B. bifidum (-46.45 +/- 5.65%), L. rhamnosus (-30.40 +/- 5.08%), B. longum (-42.50 +/- 1.28%), and B. longum subsp. infantis (-68.85 +/- 5.32%) (p < 0.05). Cell counts of Gram-negative and positive bacteria were distinctly affected by the probiotic administered. There was a probiotic strain-specific effect on immunomodulatory responses of RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. B. longum subsp. infantis demonstrated higher capacities to reduce TNF-alpha concentrations (-69.41 +/- 2.78%; p < 0.05) and to increase IL-4 concentrations (+16.50 +/- 0.59%; p < 0.05). Colonic lipopolysaccharides were significantly correlated with TNF-alpha and IL-1beta concentrations (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that specific probiotic bacteria, such as B. longum subsp. infantis, might decrease colonic lipopolysaccharide concentrations, which might reduce the proinflammatory tone. This study has noteworthy applications in the field of biotherapeutics for the prevention and/or treatment of inflammatory and metabolic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Load
  • Bifidobacterium / growth & development*
  • Cell Line
  • Colon / microbiology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / analysis*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological


  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides