Lactobacillus casei Exerts Anti-Proliferative Effects Accompanied by Apoptotic Cell Death and Up-Regulation of TRAIL in Colon Carcinoma Cells.
PLoS One. 2016 ;11(2):e0147960. Epub 2016 Feb 5. PMID: 26849051
Probiotic microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) exert a number of strain-specific health-promoting activities attributed to their immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Despite recent attention, our understanding of the biological processes involved in the beneficial effects of LAB strains is still limited. To this end, the present study investigated the growth-inhibitory effects of Lactobacillus casei ATCC 393 against experimental colon cancer. Administration of live Lactobacillus casei (as well as bacterial components thereof) on murine (CT26) and human (HT29) colon carcinoma cell lines raised a significant concentration- and time-dependent anti-proliferative effect, determined by cell viability assays. Specifically, a dramatic decrease in viability of colon cancer cells co-incubated with 109 CFU/mL L. casei for 24 hours was detected (78% for HT29 and 52% for CT26 cells). In addition, live L. casei induced apoptotic cell death in both cell lines as revealed by annexin V and propidium iodide staining. The significance of the in vitro anti-proliferative effects was further confirmed in an experimental tumor model. Oral daily administration of 109 CFU live L. casei for 13 days significantly inhibited in vivo growth of colon carcinoma cells, resulting in approximately 80% reduction in tumor volume of treated mice. Tumor growth inhibition was accompanied by L. casei-driven up-regulation of the TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand TRAIL and down-regulation of Survivin. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for beneficial tumor-inhibitory, anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects driven by this probiotic LAB strain.