Immunomodulatory role for the pili of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: possible applications towards asthma and allergies

Ilke De Boeck
De rol van probiotica in allergieën.Ilke De BoeckLopende neus, jeukende ogen, niezen, … symptomen die bij velen gekend in de oren klinken. Vandaag de dag lijden immers steeds meer mensen aan allergieën. Studies naar mogelijke oorzaken van deze trend hebben aan het licht gebracht dat een verminderd contact met goedaardige bacteriën hiertoe zou kunnen bijgedragen. Onderzoek naar deze gunstige bacteriën en mogelijke manieren om hen te exploiteren in de behandeling van allergieën is dan ook een hot topic voor onderzoekers in de huidige samenleving.

Immunomodulatory role for the pili of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: possible applications towards asthma and allergies

De rol van probiotica in allergieën.

Ilke De Boeck

Lopende neus, jeukende ogen, niezen, … symptomen die bij velen gekend in de oren klinken. Vandaag de dag lijden immers steeds meer mensen aan allergieën. Studies naar mogelijke oorzaken van deze trend hebben aan het licht gebracht dat een verminderd contact met goedaardige bacteriën hiertoe zou kunnen bijgedragen. Onderzoek naar deze gunstige bacteriën en mogelijke manieren om hen te exploiteren in de behandeling van allergieën is dan ook een hot topic voor onderzoekers in de huidige samenleving.

Het menselijk lichaam staat voortdurend in contact met micro-organismen en deze bacteriën worden de microbiota genoemd. Het lichaamsdeel dat het grootst aantal bacteriën herbergt is het maag-darm kanaal, dat uit meer bacteriële cellen bestaat dan dat er menselijke cellen aanwezig zijn [1]. Dankzij de ontwikkeling van nieuwe technieken is er de laatste jaren uitgebreid onderzoek gedaan naar de voordelen die deze microbiota biedt aan ons lichaam en hoe we onze natuurlijke compagnons kunnen gebruiken om bij te dragen tot een goede gezondheid. Deze inzichten hebben geleid tot het selecteren van een aantal bacteriële stammen die gebruikt worden als probiotica of “levende organismen die gezondheidsbevorderende effecten uitoefenen op ons lichaam wanneer ze in voldoende mate toegediend worden [2]. Probiotica zijn bij het brede publiek voornamelijk gekend vanuit commerciële zuivelproducten zoals Activia (Bifidus actiregularis®) en Yakult (L. casei immunitas) om een goed evenwicht in de darmen te behouden.

Dankzij de positieve invloed die probiotica uitoefenen op onze gezondheid wordt hun gebruik in een aantal ziektes intensief bestudeerd, onder andere ook bij allergieën. De laatste decennia lijden steeds meer mensen aan allergieën, voornamelijk in de Westerse landen, een fenomeen dat wordt toegeschreven aan de “Hygiëne Hypothese”. Deze hypothese stelt dat een verminderd contact met goede bacteriën tijdens de eerste levensjaren bijdraagt tot de ontwikkeling van allergieën [3]. Een allergische reactie wordt gekenmerkt door een overdreven respons van het immuunsysteem tegen componenten die in principe niet schadelijk zijn voor ons lichaam zoals pollen, dierenharen en huisstofmijt. Men is ervan overtuigd dat het immuunsysteem vanaf jonge leeftijd getraind moet worden om onderscheid te kunnen maken tussen onschadelijke en schadelijke componenten. Meer en meer evidentie wijst erop dat de microbiota in belangrijke mate bijdraagt tot de opleiding van het immuunsysteem [4], waardoor we leren om niet overgevoelig te reageren op componenten die niet schadelijk zijn voor ons lichaam.

Heden testen tal van klinische studies het potentieel van probiotica in de behandeling van allergieën. Resultaten van verschillende studies spreken elkaar echter vaak tegen en bijgevolg wijzen hogere instanties zoals de EFSA (‘European Food Safety Authority’) op de nood aan betere inzichten in de exacte werkingswijze waarmee probiotica hun voordelige effecten uitoefenen. Hierbij is het belangrijk om specifieke immuunactieve structuren die aanwezig zijn op het bacteriële oppervlak te onderzoeken.

Eén van de meest gebruikte probiotica wereldwijd is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG). Deze bacterie wordt in tal van toepassingen en klinische studies gebruikt en uitgebreide gezondheidseffecten zijn reeds uitvoerig gedocumenteerd [5]. In verschillende studies wordt momenteel onderzocht of LGG mogelijkheden kan bieden in de preventie en/of behandeling van allergieën. Een belangrijke eigenschap van LGG is de aanwezigheid van pili op het celoppervlak. Dit zijn lange uitstekende structuren die vergeleken kunnen worden met een staartje (figuur 1). Er wordt vermoed dat pili betrokken zouden zijn in de positieve effecten die LGG uitoefent.

        

Recente studies hebben aangetoond dat pili immunomodulerend zouden zijn in darmcellen [6], wat wil zeggen dat ze het immuunsysteem kunnen beïnvloeden. Dit is een belangrijke eigenschap met het oog op de behandeling van allergieën. Tevens werd aangetoond dat pili belangrijke structuren zijn om bacteriën vast te hechten aan deze darmcellen [6]. Naast darmcellen staan de bacteriën in onze darmen ook in contact met immuuncellen. In dit onderzoek werd de focus dan ook gelegd op de interactie van pili met deze immuuncellen en of deze interactie verschilt in cellen van allergische en niet allergische personen. We konden aantonen dat pili belangrijk zijn voor het contact maken met immuuncellen door aanhechting aan deze cellen. Of ze ook direct immuuncellen kunnen opleiden bleek niet zo duidelijk uit onze experimenten. Wel zagen we dat immuuncellen van allergische personen onder labo-omstandigheden minder reageerden op de behandeling met LGG dan cellen van niet- allergische personen. Of deze resultaten ook relevant zijn voor de behandeling van mensen met allergie met LGG moet verder onderzoek uitwijzen. 

 

In deze studie konden we dus aantonen dat specifieke bacteriële structuren zoals pili wel degelijk een rol spelen in de probiotische eigenschappen van bacteriën. Dergelijke studies naar de exacte structuren die ons immuunsysteem beïnvloeden moeten het gebruik van LGG of andere probiotica in studies voor allergieën optimaliseren. Zo kan er gezocht worden naar geschikte probiotica die de ontwikkeling van allergie zelfs kunnen tegengaan door toediening op het geschikte moment. Stel je voor dat de tijden van dagelijks pilletjes te moeten slikken om een lopende neus, niezen en tranende ogen te verhinderen voorbij zijn door eenvoudigweg probiotica te gebruiken!

Referenties

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2.        FAO/WHO Expert Consultation Report. (2001).

3.        Strachan, D. Hay fever, hygiene and household size. Br. Med. J. 299, 1259–60 (1989).

4.        Forchielli, M. L. & Walker, W. A. The role of gut-associated lymphoid tissues and mucosal defence. Br. J. Nutr. 93 Suppl 1, S41–8 (2005).

5.        Doron, S., Snydman, D. R. & Gorbach, S. L. Lactobacillus GG: bacteriology and clinical applications. Gastroenterol. Clin. North Am. 34, 483–98, ix (2005).

6.        Lebeer, S. et al. Functional analysis of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG pili in relation to adhesion and immunomodulatory interactions with intestinal epithelial cells. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78, 185–93 (2012).

 

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Master Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen, cel-en gentechnologie
Publicatiejaar
2014
Kernwoorden
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