Adhesion of Two Lactobacillus gasseri Probiotic Strains on Caco-2 Cells

Bojana Bogovič Matijašić*, Mojca Narat and Metoda Zorič

University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Zootechnical Department, Groblje 3, Domžale, Slovenia

Article history:

Received: September 10, 2002
Accepted: January 24, 2003

Key words:

adhesion, Lactobacillus gasseri, Caco-2, probiotic


Previous in vitro and in vivo studies showed that two human isolates of Lactobacillus gasseri, LF221 and K7 are able to survive the passage through the gastrointestinal tract and to colonise intestines of pigs at least temporarily. The aim of this study was to examine the adhesion ability of LF221 and K7 strains to Caco-2 cells. Adhesion of lactobacilli from early stationary growth phase was examined at two pH values of DMEM buffer (4.5 and 7). Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a widely used strain with clinical evidences of its efficiency, served as a positive control. The number of lactobacilli added to each well was found to be crucial in the adhesion assay. When added, lactobacilli were in range of 2.5 · 106 to 2.5 · 108 cfu/well, the linear correlation between the number of adhered cells (log cfu) and the number of added cells (log cfu) was found for all three strains (R2 > 0.99) at both pH values (4.5 and 7). At the highest concentration of added K7 and GG cells tested (app. 109 cfu/well), the efficiency of adhesion was reduced. pH value of the medium strongly affected the adhesion, which was promoted in acidic conditions (pH=4.5). The adhesion of K7 strain was slightly weaker compared to GG strain at both pH values, while at pH=4.5 the adhesion of LF221 strain was even better than GG adhesion, at least at lower concentration of lactobacilli. The direct comparison of these strains was possible by regression analysis. At lower concentration of lactobacilli (2.5 · 106), the best efficiency of adhesion (% of adhered bacteria) was observed for the strain LF221, reaching the values of 7.8 and 1.9 % at pH=4.5 and 7, respectively, while at higher lactobacilli concentration the ration of adhesion was higher for GG strain (3.3 % at pH=4.5). In conclusion, strains LF221 and K7 were demonstrated to be adhesive, especially in acidic conditions. The level of adhesion of K7 and GG strains positively correlates with the number of added lactobacilli only up to the certain point when the saturation of potential binding sites on Caco-2 cells probably occurs. As the adhesion to Caco-2 cell cultures alone does not guarantee the adhesion of examined strains in vivo, additional studies on experimental animals are in progress and human clinical studies are planned as well.

*Corresponding author:

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