Siv Ahrne and Marie-Louise Johansson Hagslatt
Paracellular permeability is determined by the complex structures of junctions that are located between the epithelial cells. Already in 1996, it was shown that the humanprobiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and the rat-originating strain Lactobacillus reuteri R2LC could reduce this permeability in a methotrexate-induced colitis model in the rat. Subsequently, many animal models and cell culture systems have shown indications that lactobacilli are able to counteract increased paracellular permeability evoked by cytokines, chemicals, infections, or stress. There have been few human studies focusing on the effect of lactobacilli on intestinal paracellular permeability but recently it has been shown that they could influence the tight junctions. More precisely, short-term administration of L. plantarum WCSF1 to healthy volunteers increased the relocation of occludin and ZO-1 into the tight junction area between duodenal epithelial cells.