Immunomodulatory effects exerted by Lactobacillus salivarius strains on innate immune cells

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Butto, Ludovica F.
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University College Cork
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Despite increased application of commensal bacteria for attempting to improve the symptoms of a variety of inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome, therapeutic approaches that involve live bacteria are hampered by a limited understanding of bacterium-host interactions. Lactobacilli are natural inhabitants of the mammalian gastrointestinal tract and many lactobacilli are regarded as probiotics meaning that they exert a beneficial influence on the health status of their consumers. Modulation of immune responses is a plausible mechanism underlying these beneficial effects. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the effect of 33 Lactobacillus salivarius strains on the production of inflammatory cytokines from a variety of human and mouse immune cells. Induction of immune responses in vitro was shown to be bacterial- and mouse strain-dependent, cell type-dependent, blood donor-dependent and bacterial cell number-dependent. Collectively, these data suggest the importance of a case-by-case selection of candidate strains for their potential therapeutic application. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) and play a critical role in shaping microbial-specific innate and adaptive immune responses. Following ligand engagement, TLRs trigger a complex network of signalling that culminate in the production of inflammatory mediators. The investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the Lb. salivarius-host interaction resulted in the identification of a novel role for TLR2 in negatively regulating TLR4 signalling originated from subcellular compartments within macrophages. Notably, sustained activation of JAK/STAT cascade and M1-signature genes in TLR2-/- macrophages was ablated by selective TLR4 and JAK inhibitors and by absence of TLR4 in TLR2/4-/- cells. In addition, other negative regulators of TLR signalling triggered by Lb. salivarius strains were found to be the adapter molecules TIRAP and TRIF. Understanding negative regulation of TLR signalling may pave the way for the development of novel therapeutics to limit inflammation in multiple diseases.
Lactobacillus , TLR , Macrophage
Butto, L. 2014. Immunomodulatory effects exerted by Lactobacillus salivarius strains on innate immune cells. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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