The gut dysbiosis by stressors such as immobilization deteriorates psychiatric disorders through microbiota-gut-brain axis activation. To understand whether probiotics could simultaneously alleviate anxiety/depression and colitis, we examined their effects on immobilization stress (IS)-induced anxiety/depression and colitis in mice. The probiotics Lactobacillus reuteri NK33 and Bifidobacterium adolescentis NK98 were isolated from healthy human feces. Mice with anxiety/depression and colitis were prepared by IS treatment. NK33 and NK98 potently suppressed NF-κB activation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced BV-2 cells. Treatment with NK33 and/or NK98, which were orally gavaged in mice before or after IS treatment, significantly suppressed the occurrence and development of anxiety/depression, infiltration of Iba1⁺ and LPS⁺/CD11b⁺ cells (activated microglia) into the hippocampus, and corticosterone, IL-6, and LPS levels in the blood. Furthermore, they induced hippocampal BDNF expression while NF-κB activation was suppressed. NK33 and/or NK98 treatments suppressed IS-induced colon shortening, myeloperoxidase activity, infiltration of CD11b⁺/CD11c⁺ cells, and IL-6 expression in the colon. Their treatments also suppressed the IS-induced fecal Proteobacteria population and excessive LPS production. They also induced BDNF expression in LPS-induced SH-SY5Y cells in vitro. In conclusion, NK33 and NK98 synergistically alleviated the occurrence and development of anxiety/depression and colitis through the regulation of gut immune responses and microbiota composition.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium adolescentis; Lactobacillus reuteri; anxiety; colitis; depression; immobilization stress.