Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT7765 induces an M2 anti-inflammatory transition in macrophages from patients with cirrhosis

J Hepatol. 2016 Jan;64(1):135-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2015.08.020. Epub 2015 Aug 31.


Background & aims: Patients with cirrhosis show recurrent access of bacterial products into the bloodstream inducing a multi-altered immunological status leading to relevant complications. We aimed at evaluating Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT7765 effect on the host's macrophage function.

Patients & methods: Patients with cirrhosis and ascites were included. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) monocyte-derived and ascitic fluid (AF) macrophages were cultured with M-CSF, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and/or the bifidobacterial strain. Pellets and supernatants were evaluated for gene expression of M1 and M2-related genes and cytokine secretion. Cell surface expression molecules were evaluated by flow cytometry. Kupffer cells from bile duct ligated and CCl4 rats were also evaluated.

Results: Experiments were run on GM-CSF blood-derived and AF macrophages from 10 patients with cirrhosis and 10 healthy donors. Different macrophage morphology was observed by optical microscopy in cells stimulated with bifidobacteria vs. LPS. M2-like expression of CD206, CD163 and CD16 was significantly increased in macrophages after stimulation with the bifidobacterial strain vs. LPS. B. pseudocatenulatum CECT7765 was able to significantly change the cytokine secretion pattern of blood-derived and AF macrophages and Kupffer cells from bile duct ligated and CCl4 cirrhotic rats compared to that induced by LPS. B. pseudocatenulatum CECT7765 was also effective in inducing a phenotype transition and a functional change from an M1- to an M2-related gene expression and cytokine secretion pattern in AF macrophages even after LPS-pretreatment. B. pseudocatenulatum CECT7765 did not reduce AF macrophage bacterial killing capacity.

Conclusion: B. pseudocatenulatum CECT7765 induces a morphologic, phenotypic and functional transition towards an anti-inflammatory profile in GM-CSF monocyte-derived and AF macrophages from patients with cirrhosis that may help in controlling sustained inflammation in decompensated cirrhosis.

Keywords: Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum CECT7765; Cirrhosis; Cytokines; Macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bifidobacterium*
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kupffer Cells / immunology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides