Searching for the Perfect Homeostasis: Five Strains of Bifidobacterium longum From Centenarians Have a Similar Behavior in the Production of Cytokines

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2016 Nov/Dec;50 Suppl 2, Proceedings from the 8th Probiotics, Prebiotics & New Foods for Microbiota and Human Health meeting held in Rome, Italy on September 13-15, 2015:S126-S130. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000678.


Goals: To investigate the modulation of human cytokines by Bifidobacterium longum strains isolated from Centenarians. In particular, we measured the production of interleukin (IL)-12p70, interferon-γ, IL-17A, and IL-4 from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells after stimulation with live bacteria.

Background: Probiotics may inhibit pathogens and modulate the immune system, bringing a beneficial effect on human health. Among the probiotic strains, bifidobacteria play a key role in the maturation of the host's immune system. At present, only a few comparative data are available on the effects of bifidobacteria associations on cytokine production.

Study: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated, cultured, and stimulated (ratio 1:1) with B. longum DLBL07, B. longum DLBL08, B. longum DLBL09, B. longum DLBL10, or B. longum DLBL11, either alone or in association. Cytokine production was determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Both the B. longum DLBL mixture and the individual B. longum DLBL strains induced similar levels of IL-4, interferon-γ, and IL-17A. Under all conditions tested, no IL-12p70 release was detected.

Conclusions: The fact that B. longum strains were obtained from Centenarians suggests a perfect homeostasis between this specific species and the host. Moreover all the B. longum strains from Centenarians used in our study share some biological similarities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bifidobacterium longum / physiology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-12 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-17 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / microbiology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • IL17A protein, human
  • IL4 protein, human
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma