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Probiotic-derived treatment offers new hope for premature babies
Date:2/13/2013

odel for a baby's immature gut, the researchers used intestinal tissue from infants with NEC as well as fetal intestinal tissues. The researchers also grew two probiotic strains of bacteria, L. acidophilus and B. infantus, in liquid culture medium, but removed the bacteria from the cultures. The material in which these bacteria were grown, known as the probiotic conditioned medium (PCM), contained secretions the bacteria left behind.

They then exposed human immature and mature intestinal tissues to either PCM or to material usually used to grow bacteria that had never contained microbes. They also exposed some tissues to a compound derived from bacteria that's known to cause an inflammatory response.

They analyzed the tissues for expression of genes known to respond to inflammation and looked at the effects of secretions from the two different probiotic strains separately to determine whether one had a greater anti-inflammatory effect than the other.

Results

The scientists found that treatment with just the PCM significantly reduced inflammation in both immature intestinal tissue and tissue from infants with NEC.

When the researchers analyzed gene expression in the PCM-exposed tissue, they found reduced activity of several genes linked with inflammation. Interestingly, PCM exposure did not affect mature intestinal tissue.

"Since an immaturity of intestinal immune responses is felt to be partially responsible for the development of NEC, the bioactive factors in PCM may be useful as an effective, targeted preventive strategy without the broad effects of steroids," explained Ganguli.

When the researchers tested the effects of secretions from B. infantis and L. acidophilus separately on fetal intestinal cells, they found that those from B. infantis alone showed a greater ability than L. acidophilus to reduce inflammation. While this does not rule out the
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Contact: Donna Krupa
301-634-7209
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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