Regulation of the IL-10/IL-12 axis in human dendritic cells with probiotic bacteria


  • Editor: Artur Ulmer

Simon Skjøde Jensen, Bioneer A/S, Kogle Allé 2, Hørsholm, DK-2970, Denmark. Tel.: +45 4516 0444; fax: +45 4516 0455; e-mail:


In this study, we have used monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) to design a screening model for the selection of microorganisms with the ability to suppress DC-secreted IL-12p70, a critical cytokine for the induction of T-helper cell type 1 immune responses under inflammatory conditions. By the treatment of DCs with cocktails containing TLR agonists and proinflammatory cytokines, the cells increased the secretion of the Th1-promoting cytokine IL-12p70. Clinically used probiotics were tested for their IL-10- and IL-12p70-stimulating properties in immature DCs, and showed a dose-dependent change in the IL-10/IL-12p70 balance. Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and the probiotic mixture VSL#3 showed a strong induction of IL-12p70, whereas Lactobacillus salivarius Ls-33 and Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 preferentially induced IL-10. Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 induced both IL-10 and IL-12p70, whereas the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii induced low levels of cytokines. When combining these microorganisms with the Th1-promoting cocktails, E. coli Nissle 1917 and B. infantis 35624 were potent suppressors of IL-12p70 secretion in an IL-10-independent manner, indicating a suppressive effect on Th1-inducing antigen-presenting cells. The present model, using cocktail-stimulated DCs with potent IL-12p70-stimulating capacity, may be used as an efficient tool to assess the anti-inflammatory properties of microorganisms for potential clinical use.