The use of probiotics has been broadly popularized due to positive effects in the attenuation of aberrant immune responses such as asthma. Allergic asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by airway inflammation and remodelling.
This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of oral administration of Lactococcus lactis NZ9000 on asthmatic airway inflammation and lung tissue remodelling in rats and its relation to the maintenance of an adequate intestinal barrier.
Wistar rats were ovalbumin (OVA) sensitized and challenged and orally treated with L. lactis. Lung inflammatory infiltrates and cytokines were measured, and remodelling was evaluated. Serum OVA-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E levels were assessed. We also evaluated changes on intestinal environment and on systemic immune response.
L. lactis diminished the infiltration of proinflammatory leucocytes, mainly eosinophils, in the bronchoalveolar compartment, decreased lung IL-4 and IL-5 expression, and reduced the level of serum allergen-specific IgE. Furthermore, L. lactis prevented eosinophil influx, collagen deposition, and goblet cell hyperplasia in lung tissue. In the intestine, L. lactis-treated asthmatic rats increased Peyer’s patch and goblet cell quantity and mRNA expression of IgA, MUC-2, and claudin. Additionally, intestinal morphological alterations were normalized by L. lactis administration. Splenocyte proliferative response to OVA was abolished, and serum levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β were increased by L. lactis treatment.
These findings suggest that L. lactis is a potential candidate for asthma prevention, and the effect is mediated by the improvement of intestinal barrier function and systemic TGF-β production.

© 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel.