Early postnatal events are important for the development of the neonatal immune system. Harboring the pioneering microorganisms forming the microbiota of the neonatal gastrointestinal tract is important for priming the immune system, as well as inducing appropriate tolerance to the relatively innocuous environmental antigens and compounds of normal healthy microbiota. Early postnatal supplementation of suitable, safe probiotics could accelerate this process. In the current study, the immunomodulatory capacity of the probiotic strain of Escherichia coli O83:K24:H31 (EcO83) was characterized in vitro and in vivo. We compared the capacity of EcO83 with and without hemolytic activity on selected immune characteristics in vitro as determined by flow cytometry and quantitative real-time PCR. Both strains with and without hemolytic activity exerted comparable capacity on the maturation of dendritic cells while preserving the induction of interleukin 10 (Il10) expression in dendritic cells and T cells cocultured with EcO83 primed dendritic cells. Early postnatal supplementation with EcO83 led to massive but transient colonization of the neonatal gastrointestinal tract, as detected by in vivo bioimaging. Early postnatal EcO83 administration promoted gut barrier function by increasing the expression of claudin and occludin and the expression of Il10. Early postnatal EcO83 application promotes maturation of the neonatal immune system and promotes immunoregulatory and gut barrier functions.
Keywords: E. coli O83:K24:H31; IL-10; dendritic cell; early postnatal probiotic administration; indol amine 2,3 dioxygenase; luciferase; probiotic.