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Effects of Ingestion of Yogurts Containing Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus acidophilus on Spleen and Peyer's Patch Lymphocyte Populations in the Mouse

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Certain probiotic lactic acid bacteria have been reported to improve immune system function. Here, the effects of ingesting yogurts on lymphocyte populations in the spleens and Peyer's patches were determined in mice. Three probiotic-supplemented yogurts containing Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus acidophilus and one conventional yogurt containing only S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus were prepared from commercial starter cultures and used in the study. B6C3F1 female mice were fed the four different types of yogurts mixed with an AIN-93G diet in a 50:50 (wt/wt) ratio. Nonfat dry milk mixed at a 50:50 (wt/wt) ratio with AIN-93G diet was used as the control. After a 14- day feeding period, spleen and Peyer's patches were removed and lymphocytes subjected to phenotype analysis by flow cytometry. Ingestion of the four yogurts had no effect on percentages of CD8+ (cytotoxic T cells), B220+ (B cells), IgA+, or IgM+ cells in spleen or Peyer's patches. The percentage of CD4+ (T helper) cells was significantly increased in the spleens from one group of mice fed a yogurt containing Bifidobacterium and L. acidophilus, and a similar trend was found in the remaining two probiotic-supplemented yogurts. Effects on CD4+ populations were not observed in spleens of mice fed conventional yogurt or in the Peyer's patches of any of the four yogurt groups. In total, the results suggested that ingestion of conventional or probiotic-supplemented yogurts for 2 weeks had very little effect on lymphocyte distribution in the systemic or mucosal immune compartments.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition; National Center for Food Safety and Toxicology; Department of Microbiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1224, USA 2: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1224, USA 3: Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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