Aims: This study was performed to ascertain the immunomodulatory effect of Lactobacillus paracasei strains. These strains were also genetically characterized.
Methods and Results: The strains were genetically differentiated by using the fluorescent-amplified fragment length polymorphism technique, which led to the identification of several molecular markers unique to each strain. To determine the immunomodulatory properties, we evaluated the effect of strains on dendritic cell maturation, dextran uptake, ability to induce proliferation of allogenic T cells and cytokine secretion. The results indicated that all the strains stimulated phenotypic maturation of dendritic cells (DCs), but they acted differently on DCs in relation to the other tested properties; notably, a different effect on cytokine secretion was detected.
Conclusions: The results of this study revealed different immunomodulatory properties of strains of the species Lact. paracasei. Strain IMPC 4.1 showed an interesting anti-inflammatory ability. Probiotic strains IMPC 2.1 and LMG P-17806 were characterized by a similar and intermediate ability to induce cytokine secretion in contrast to the very low ability of strain LMG 23554.
Significance and Impact of Study: Our results confirm that each single strain of a bacterial species appears to influence the immune system in a peculiar manner. The evaluation of the different types and/or levels of cytokines whose secretion is induced by each strain could be relevant to define its pro- or anti-inflammatory properties and its more appropriate clinical use.