Probiotics are microorganisms that can benefit host health when ingested in a live state, and lactic acid bacteria are the most common type. Among fungi, Saccharomyces boulardii (SB) is the only strain known to have a probiotic function with beneficial effects on colitis; however, information on other probiotic yeast strains is limited. Therefore, this study aimed to discover yeast strains expressing intestinal anti-inflammatory activities by exhibiting probiotic properties in dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis mice model. Nuruk (Korean traditional fermentation starter) containing various microbial strains was used as a source for yeast strains, and S. cerevisiae 28-7 (SC28-7) strain was selected with in vitro and in vivo characteristics to enable survival in the intestines. After 14 days of pretreatment with the yeast strains, DSS was co-administered for six days to induce colitis in mice. The results revealed that the disease activity index score was lowered by SC28-7 treatment compared to the DSS group, and the colon length and weight/length ratio were recovered in a pattern similar to that of the normal group. SC28-7 administration significantly reduced the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the serum and modified the mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β, transforming growth factor-β, and interferon-γ) and proteins involved in gut barrier functions (mucin 2, mucin 3, zonula occludens-1, and occludin) in colon tissues. These results indicate that SC28-7 attenuates DSS-induced colon damage and inflammation, supporting its future use as a probiotic yeast for treating and preventing intestinal inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Keywords: Probiotic yeast; Saccharomyces boulardii; Saccharomyces cerevisiae 28-7; colitis; nuruk.