Effect of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 on antigen-specific T-cell mediated immune responses in aged mice.Rejuvenation Res. 2008 Oct; 11(5):957-64.RR
Aging is associated with a reduced capacity to mount proper immune responses, in particular to vaccines. Probiotic lactic acid bacteria may improve the immune status of the elderly; however, there is little evidence showing an effect of these bacteria on humoral and cellular immune responses. In the present study, the immunomodulatory capacity of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 combined or not with a prebiotic composition, FOS/inulin, was examined in aged mice. Male C57BL/6J mice (21-months-old) were allocated to one of three groups fed ad libitum for 44 days with different diets: a normal diet (control), a normal diet plus NCC2461 given in the drinking water, or a diet containing FOS/inulin plus NCC2461 in the drinking water. All mice were immunized on day 15 and challenged on day 22 with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). T helper (Th)1 cell-dependent immune responses (anti-KLH immunoglobulin G(2a) [IgG(2a)] levels and delayed type hypersensitivity response) were increased significantly in NCC2461-supplemented mice when compared to controls. Supplementation with FOS/inulin did not further improve the immune-enhancing effect mediated by the probiotic. Splenocyte proliferation, T cell subsets, systemic total IgG levels, and mucosal total IgA responses were not affected. Interestingly, supplementation with NCC2461 modulated the intestinal microbiota composition by increasing the numbers of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. In conclusion, oral intake of L. paracasei NCC2461 by aged mice enhanced the specific adaptive immune response to in vivo antigenic challenge without altering other cellular and humoral immune responses. The poor responsiveness to antigenic challenge, frequently observed in elderly people, may be improved by supplementation with L. paracasei NCC2461.