Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus inhibits the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps

Linda Vong, Robert J. Lorentz, Amit Assa, Michael Glogauer, Philip M. Sherman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are an essential component of the antimicrobial repertoire and represent an effective means by which neutrophils capture, contain, and kill microorganisms. However, the uncontrolled or excessive liberation of NETs also damages surrounding cells and can contribute to disease pathophysiology. Alterations in the gut microbiota, as well as the presence of local and systemic markers of inflammation, are strongly associated with the manifestation of a spectrum of intestinal disorders, including chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Although probiotics exert beneficial effects on gut homeostasis, their direct effect on neutrophils, which are abundant in the setting of intestinal inflammation, remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of nonpathogenic, enteropathogenic, and probiotic bacteria on the dynamics of NET formation. Using murine bone marrow-derived neutrophils and the neutrophil-differentiated human myeloid cell line d.HL-60, we demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG inhibits both PMA- and Staphylococcus aureus-induced formation of NETs. Moreover, probiotic L. rhamnosus strain GG had potent antioxidative activity: dampening reactive oxygen species production and phagocytic capacity of the neutrophils while protecting against cell cytotoxicity. Within the milieu of the gut, this represents a novel mechanism by which probiotics can locally dampen innate immune responses and confer desensitization toward luminal Ags.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1870-1877
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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