The aim of this research was to evaluate whether micronized cells (MCs) from selected biotherapeutic bacteria have the ability to effectively modulate the polarization of monocyte/macrophage subpopulations to advantageously provide a first line of defense against infections.
Inflammation is a reaction of the host to viral and bacterial infections with the physiological purpose of restoring tissue homeostasis. However, uncontrolled or unresolved inflammation can lead to tissue damage, giving rise to a plethora of chronic inflammatory diseases. The monocytes/macrophages play a key role in the initiation and resolution of inflammation through different activation programs.
MCs were obtained from Bifidobacterium lactis BS01 strain using a Bioimmunizer extraction protocol. Monocytes were stimulated with the probiotic strain and/or MCs (10 mg/mL) for 24 hours and 5 days. Monocyte/macrophage differentiation was evaluated by cytometry analysis of surface markers and the activity of the 2 subpopulations on oxidative stress was assessed in an in vitro oxidative stress model with a spectrophotometric test.
The MCs have been shown to modulate considerably the 2 subpopulations of human monocytes/macrophages, both the “patrolling subpopulation” and the “inflammatory subpopulation,” thus highlighting a strong immunostimulatory effect. In addition, MCs are able to mitigate significantly the oxidative stress induced by homocysteine in an in vitro model.
Our findings suggest that MCs derived from the biotherapeutic strain BS01 could represent a possible therapy aimed to effectively prevent and/or cure viral, bacterial, fungal, or protozoal diseases, as well as prevent and/or treat inflammatory processes triggered by external pathogenic agents.