The regulation of immune cells by Lactobacilli: a potential therapeutic target for anti-atherosclerosis therapy

Ya-Hui Ding, Lin-Yan Qian, Jie Pang, Jing-Yang Lin _, Qiang Xu, Li-Hong Wang, Dong-Sheng Huang and Hai Zou

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59915-59928. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18346

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Ya-Hui Ding1,2, Lin-Yan Qian1,2, Jie Pang1,2, Jing-Yang Lin1,2, Qiang Xu1,2, Li-Hong Wang1,2, Dong-Sheng Huang2,3 and Hai Zou1,2

1Department of Cardiology, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou 310014, China

2People’s Hospital of Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou 310014, China

3Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou 310000, China

Correspondence to:

Jing-Yang Lin, email: [email protected]

Qiang Xu, email: [email protected]

Li-Hong Wang, email: [email protected]

Dong-Sheng Huang, email: [email protected]

Hai Zou, email: [email protected]

Keywords: atherosclerosis, Lactobacillus, lymphocyte, macrophage, dendritic cell

Received: February 17, 2017     Accepted: May 22, 2017     Published: June 02, 2017


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease regulated by several immune cells including lymphocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. Gut probiotic bacteria like Lactobacilli have been shown immunomodificatory effects in the progression of atherogenesis. Some Lactobacillus stains can upregulate the activity of regulatory T-lymphocytes, suppress T-lymphocyte helper (Th) cells Th1, Th17, alter the Th1/Th2 ratio, influence the subsets ratio of M1/M2 macrophages, inhibit foam cell formation by suppressing macrophage phagocytosis of oxidized low-density lipoprotein, block the activation of the immune system with dendritic cells, which are expected to suppress the atherosclerosis-related inflammation. However, various strains can have various effects on inflammation. Some other Lactobacillus strains were found have potential pro-atherogenic effect through promote Th1 cell activity, increase pro-inflammatory cytokines levels as well as decrease anti-inflammatory cytokines levels. Thus, identifying the appropriate strains is essential to the therapeutic potential of Lactobacilli as an anti-atherosclerotic therapy.

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