Probiotic modulation of dendritic cell function is influenced by ageing

Jialu You, Honglin Dong, Elizabeth R Mann, Stella C Knight, Parveen Yaqoob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical for the generation of T-cell responses. DC function may be modulated by probiotics, which confer health benefits in immunocompromised individuals, such as the elderly. This study investigated the effects of four probiotics, Bifidobacterium longum bv. infantis CCUG 52486, B. longum SP 07/3, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (L.GG) and L. casei Shirota (LcS), on DC function in an allogeneic mixed leucocyte reaction (MLR) model, using DCs and T-cells from young and older donors in different combinations. All four probiotics enhanced expression of CD40, CD80 and CCR7 on both young and older DCs, but enhanced cytokine production (TGF-β, TNF-α) by old DCs only. LcS induced IL-12 and IFNγ production by DC to a greater degree than other strains, while B. longum bv. infantis CCUG 52486 favoured IL-10 production. Stimulation of young T cells in an allogeneic MLR with DC was enhanced by probiotic pretreatment of old DCs, which demonstrated greater activation (CD25) than untreated controls. However, pretreatment of young or old DCs with LPS or probiotics failed to enhance the proliferation of T-cells derived from older donors. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that ageing increases the responsiveness of DCs to probiotics, but this is not sufficient to overcome the impact of immunosenescence in the MLR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging/immunology
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antigens, CD/metabolism
  • Bifidobacterium/immunology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines/metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells/immunology
  • Humans
  • Isoantigens/immunology
  • Lactobacillus casei/immunology
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus/immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Male
  • Probiotics
  • Receptors, CCR7/metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes/immunology
  • Young Adult


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