April 30, 2010
VALENCIA, SpainManipulating the intestinal microbiota with dietary strategies such as probiotics and prebiotics, may improve the quality of life for celiac patients, as well as patients with associated diseases such as type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune disorders, according to a new study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
Scientists used cultures of human peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as in vitro models, as intestinal mucosa monocytes are constantly replenished by blood monocytes and accurately represent an in vivo situation. To simulate the intestinal environment of celiac disease, cell cultures were exposed to Gram-negative bacteria isolated from celiac patients and bifidobacteria, both alone and in the presence of disease triggers. The effects on surface marker expression and cytokine production by PBMCs were determined. The Gram-negative bacteria induced higher pro-inflammatory cytokines than the bifidobacteria. These bacteria also up-regulated expression of cell surface markers involved in inflammatory characteristics of the disease, while bifidobacteria up-regulated the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Although human clinical trials are necessary, this evidence could be the first step toward changing how celiac disease is treated and possibly prevented.
"We hope the study will ultimately add to the understanding of the mechanisms of action of the intestinal microbiota in immune-mediated diseases," said Yolanda Sanz, one of the scientists involved in the research from the National Spanish Research Council in Valencia, Spain. "This study may also help to design novel strategies, which could improve the quality of life of celiac disease patients in the future."
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