It is generally accepted that microbes play a critical role in maintaining gut barrier function, making them ideal to target in order to mitigate the effects of intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease with specialist supplementations such as probiotic or postbiotic preparations. In this study, specific strains of Lactobacillus helvictus both live and inactivated and Lactobacillus plantarum inactivated were fed to zebrafish at an inclusion level of 6 × 106 cells/g in order to assess the effects on gut barrier function and protection. Taken together, our results indicate that dietary administration of pro- or postbiotics strengthens the gut barrier function and innate immunity of healthy zebrafish in a strain-specific and process-dependent way. With some differences in the response intensity, the three treatments led to increased intestinal villi length and proportion of IELs, reinforcement of the GC population and up-regulated expression of biomarkers of AMP production and tight junction zona-occludin 2a (zo-2a). In addition, LPPost had an impact on the adaptive immune response, and we hypothesized that it conferred the potential to drive Th17/ILC3 immunity, as suggested by its effect on the gene expression of il22, of different AMPs, and the expression of zo2a. Moreover, LPPost showed the potential to drive Th1/ILC1-like immunity, with a higher percentage of CD8+ cells and higher ifnγ gene expression. In summary, the use of inactivated Lactobacilli species in this study represented a promising strategy for improving barrier function and regulating the immune fate of the intestinal mucosa in a strain-specific way.



Publication Date


Publication Title






Embargo Period


Organisational Unit

School of Biological and Marine Sciences