Indigenous lactobacilli strains of food and human sources reverse enteropathogenic E. coli O26:H11-induced damage in intestinal epithelial cell lines: effect on redistribution of tight junction proteins

Microbiology (Reading). 2017 Sep;163(9):1263-1272. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000507. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


The aim of the study was to investigate the neutralizing effect of lactobacilli isolated from indigenous food and human sources on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) O26 : H11-induced epithelial barrier dysfunction in vitro. This was assessed by transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and permeability assays using intestinal cell lines, HT-29 and Caco-2. Furthermore, the expression and distribution of tight junction (TJ) proteins were analysed by qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. The nine strains used in the study were from different species viz. Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillushelveticus, Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus plantarum. All strains were able to reverse the decrease in TEER and corresponding increase in permeability across E. coli-infected monolayers. Maximum reversal was observed after 18 h [up to 93.8±2.0 % by L. rhamnosus GG followed by L. fermentum IIs11.2 (92.6±2.2 %) and L. plantarum GRI-2 (91.9±0.9 %)] of lactobacilli exposure following EPEC O26 : H11 infection. All strains were able to redistribute the TJ proteins to the cell periphery either partially or completely. Moreover, L. helveticus FA-7 was also able to significantly increase the mRNA expression of ZO-1 and claudin-1 (2.5-fold and 3.0-fold, respectively; P<0.05). The rapid reversal observed by these strains could be mostly because of the redistribution rather than increased mRNA expression of TJ proteins. In conclusion, L. helveticus FA-7, L. fermentum FA-1 and L. plantarum GRI-2 were good in all the aspects studied, and the other strains were good in some aspects. L. helveticus FA-7, L. fermentum FA-1 and L. plantarum GRI-2 can therefore be used for potential therapeutic purpose against intestinal epithelial dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiosis*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electric Impedance
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Gene Expression
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Inulin / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus / physiology*
  • Permeability
  • Probiotics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Tight Junction Proteins / genetics
  • Tight Junction Proteins / metabolism
  • Tight Junctions


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tight Junction Proteins
  • Inulin