Use of probiotic therapy is an active area of investigation to treat intestinal disorders. The clinical benefits of the I3.1 probiotic formula (Lactobacillus plantarum (CECT7484, CECT7485) and P. acidilactici (CECT7483)) were demonstrated in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of I3.1 in two experimental models of colitis, a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis model and an interleukin (IL)-10-deficient mice model. Colitis was induced in 32 8-week-old Balb/c mice by administering 3% (w/v) DSS in drinking water for 5 days. Probiotics were administered orally (I3.1 or VSL#3, 1 × 109 CFU daily) for 10 days before the administration of DSS. Also, probiotics (I3.1 or VSL#3, 1 × 109 CFU daily) were administered orally to 36 6-week-old C57B6J IL-10(-/-) mice for 10 weeks. Body weight was recorded daily. Colon samples were harvested for histological examination and cytokine measurements. Body weight after DSS administration did not change in the I3.1 group, whereas the VSL#3 group had weight loss. Also, I3.1 normalized IL-6 to levels similar to that of healthy controls and significantly increased the reparative histologic score. In the IL-10-deficient model, both VSL#3 and I3.1 reduced the severity of colitis compared to untreated controls, and I3.1 significantly reduced the levels of IFN-γ compared to the other two groups. In conclusion, I3.1 displays a protective effect on two murine models of experimental colitis. Results suggest that the mechanism of action could be different from VSL#3.
Keywords: Colitis; Interferon-gamma; Interleukin-6; Lactobacillus plantarum; Pediococcus acidilactici; Probiotics; TNF-alpha.