Bifidobacteria grown on human milk oligosaccharides downregulate the expression of inflammation-related genes in Caco-2 cells.BMC Microbiol. 2015 Aug 25; 15:172.BM
Breastfed human infants are predominantly colonized by bifidobacteria that thrive on human milk oligosaccharides (HMO). Two predominant species of bifidobacteria in infant feces are Bifidobacterium breve (B. breve) and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis), both of which include avid HMO-consumer strains. Our laboratory has previously shown that B. infantis, when grown on HMO, increases adhesion to intestinal cells and increases the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of carbon source-glucose, lactose, or HMO-on the ability of B. breve and B. infantis to adhere to and affect the transcription of intestinal epithelial cells on a genome-wide basis.
HMO-grown B. infantis had higher percent binding to Caco-2 cell monolayers compared to B. infantis grown on glucose or lactose. B. breve had low adhesive ability regardless of carbon source. Despite differential binding ability, both HMO-grown strains significantly differentially affected the Caco-2 transcriptome compared to their glucose or lactose grown controls. HMO-grown B. breve and B. infantis both downregulated genes in Caco-2 cells associated with chemokine activity.
The choice of carbon source affects the interaction of bifidobacteria with intestinal epithelial cells. HMO-grown bifidobacteria reduce markers of inflammation, compared to glucose or lactose-grown bifidobacteria. In the future, the design of preventative or therapeutic probiotic supplements may need to include appropriately chosen prebiotics.