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Probiotic Microorganisms Inhibit Epithelial Cell Internalization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

Tina I. Lam, Christina C. Tam, Larry H. Stanker, Luisa W. Cheng
Toxins 2016 v.8 no.12 pp. 1-15
Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. cerevisiae, allergens, animal models, binding capacity, blood, botulinum toxin, cell culture, dose response, epithelial cells, human cell lines, in vitro studies, intestinal mucosa, mice, natural toxicants, pathogens, poisoning, probiotics, serotypes, uptake mechanisms
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that both BoNT serotype A complex and holotoxin can bind and transit through the intestinal epithelia to disseminate in the blood. The timing of BoNT/A toxin internalization was shown to be comparable in both the Caco-2 in vitro cell culture and in the oral mouse intoxication models. Probiotic microorganisms have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects in not only maintaining the normal gut mucosa but also protection from allergens, pathogens, and toxins. In this study, we evaluate whether probiotic microorganisms will block BoNT/A uptake in the in vitro cell culture system using Caco-2 cells. Several probiotics tested (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG, and Lactobacillus reuteri) blocked BoNT/A uptake in a dose-dependent manner whereas a non-probiotic strain of Escherichia coli did not. We also showed that inhibition of BoNT/A uptake was not due to the degradation of BoNT/A nor by sequestration of toxin via binding to probiotics. These results show for the first time that probiotic treatment can inhibit BoNT/A binding and internalization in vitro and may lead to the development of new therapies.