Heat-killed probiotic bacteria differentially regulate colonic epithelial cell production of human β-defensin-2: dependence on inflammatory cytokines.
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The inducible antimicrobial peptide human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2) stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and bacterial products is essential to antipathogen responses of gut epithelial cells. Commensal and probiotic bacteria can augment such mucosal defences. Probiotic use in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, however, may have adverse effects, boosting inflammatory responses. The aim of this investigation was to determine the effect of selected probiotic strains on hBD-2 production by epithelial cells induced by pathologically relevant pro-inflammatory cytokines and the role of cytokine modulators in controlling hBD-2. Caco-2 colonic intestinal epithelial cells were pre-incubated with heat-killed probiotics, i.e. Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) or Lactobacillus fermentum strain MS15 (LF), followed by stimulation of hBD-2 by interleukin (IL)-1β and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in the absence or presence of exogenous IL-10 or anti-IL-10 neutralising antibody. Cytokines and hBD-2 mRNA and protein were analysed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. LcS augmented IL-1β-induced hBD-2, whereas LF enhanced TNF-α- and suppressed IL-1β-induced hBD-2. LF enhanced TNF-α-induced TNF-α and suppressed IL-10, whereas augmented IL-1β-induced IL-10. LcS upregulated IL-1β-induced TNF-α mRNA and suppressed IL-10. Endogenous IL-10 differentially regulated hBD-2; neutralisation of IL-10 augmented TNF-α- and suppressed IL-1β-induced hBD-2. Exogenous IL-10, however, suppressed both TNF-α- and IL-1β-induced hBD-2; LcS partially rescued suppression in TNF-α- and IL-1β-stimulation, whereas LF further suppressed IL-1β-induced hBD-2. It can be concluded that probiotic strains differentially regulate hBD-2 mRNA expression and protein secretion, modulation being dictated by inflammatory stimulus and resulting cytokine environment.
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