Beneficial microbes and probiotics show promise for the treatment of pediatric gastrointestinal diseases. However, basic mechanisms of probiosis are not well understood, and most investigations have been performed in germ-free or microbiome-depleted animals. We sought to functionally characterize probiotichost interactions in the context of normal early development. Outbred CD1 neonatal mice were orally gavaged with one of two strains of human-derived Lactobacillus reuteri or an equal volume of vehicle. Transcriptome analysis was performed on enterocyte RNA isolated by laser-capture microdissection. Enterocyte migration and proliferation were assessed by labeling cells with 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine, and fecal microbial community composition was determined by 16S metagenomics sequencing. Probiotic ingestion altered gene expression in multiple canonical pathways involving cell motility. L. reuteri strain DSM 17938 dramatically increased enterocyte migration (3-fold), proliferation (34%), and crypt height (29%) compared to vehicle-treated mice, whereas strain ATCC PTA 6475 increased cell migration (2-fold) without affecting crypt proliferative activity. In addition, both probiotic strains increased the phylogenetic diversity and evenness between taxa of the fecal microbiome 24 h after a single Probiotic gavage. These experiments identify two targets of probiosis in early development, the intestinal epithelium and the gut microbiome, and suggest novel mechanisms for probiotic strain-specific effects.
Beneficial microbes and probiotics are promising agents for the prevention and treatment of enteric and diarrheal diseases in children; however, little is known about their in vivo mechanisms of action. We used a neonatal mouse model of rotavirus diarrhea to gain insight into how probiotics ameliorate acute gastroenteritis.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a facultative, lactic acid bacterium in the phylum Firmicutes. Lactobacillus spp. are generally considered beneficial, and specific strains of L. rhamnosus are validated probiotics. We describe the draft genomes of three L. rhamnosus strains (L31, L34, and L35) isolated from the feces of Thai breastfed infants, which exhibit anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. The three genomes range between 2.8 – 2.9 Mb, and contain approximately 2,700 protein coding genes.