Milk digesta and milk protein fractions influence the adherence of Lactobacillus gasseri R and Lactobacillus casei FMP to human cultured cells
Adhesion to the intestinal epithelium is considered an important feature of probiotic bacteria, which may increase their persistence in the intestine, allowing them to exert their beneficial health effect or promote the colonisation process. However, this feature might be largely dependent on the host specificity or diet. In the present study, we investigated the effect of selected milks and milk protein fractions on the ability of selected lactobacilli to adhere to the cells of an intestinal model based on co-culture Caco-2/HT29-MTX cell lines. Most milk digesta did not significantly affect bacterial adhesion except for UHT-treated milk and sheep milk. The presence of UHT-treated milk digesta reduced the adhesion of Lactobacillus gasseri R by 61% but not that of Lactobacillus casei FMP. However, sheep milk significantly increased the adherence of L. casei FMP (P < 0.05) but not of L. gasseri R. Among the protein fractions, rennet casein (RCN) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) showed reproducible patterns and strain-specific effects on bacterial adherence. While RCN reduced the adherence of L. gasseri R to <50% compared to the control, it did not have a significant effect on L. casei FMP. In contrast, BSA reduced L. casei FMP adherence to a higher extent than that of L. gasseri R. Whey protein (WH) tended to increase the adherence of both strains by 130%–180%. Recently, interactions between the host diet and its microbiota have attracted considerable interest. Our results may explain one of the aspects of the role of milk in the development of microbiota or support of probiotic supplements. Based on our data, we conclude that the persistence of probiotic strains supplemented as part of dairy food or constitutional microbiota in the gut might be affected negatively or positively by the food matrix through complex strain or concentration dependent effects.