Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 is a unique prophylactic agent that suppresses infection-induced myometrial cell responses.
Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 18 ;9(1):4698. Epub 2019 Mar 18. PMID: 30886179
Preterm birth (PTB) is a multifactorial syndrome affecting millions of neonates worldwide. Intrauterine infection can induce PTB through the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and untimely activation of uterine contractions. In pregnant mice, prophylactic administration of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 supernatant (GR1SN) prevented lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PTB and reduced cytokine expression in the uterine muscle (myometrium). In this study we sought to delineate the mechanisms by which GR1SN suppressed cytokine secretion in the myometrium. We observed that L. rhamnosus GR-1 uniquely secretes heat-resistant but trypsin-sensitive factors, which significantly suppressed LPS-induced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1 in the human myometrial cell line, hTERT-HM. This effect was unique to GR1SN and could not be replicated using supernatant derived from non-GR-1 commensal lactobacilli species: L. rhamnosus GG, L. lactis, L. casei, or L. reuteri RC-14. Furthermore, pre-incubation of hTERT-HM cells with low-dose Pam3CSK (a TLR1/2 synthetic agonist which mimics LPS action) prior to LPS administration also significantly decreased LPS-induced cytokine secretion. This study highlights the distinct capacity of protein-like moieties secreted by L. rhamnosus GR-1 to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokine production by human myometrial cells, potentially through a TLR1/2-mediated mechanism.