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Open Access Original article

Effects of Pediococcus parvulus 2.6 and its exopolysaccharide on plasma cholesterol levels and inflammatory markers in mice

Cecilia Lindström12*, Olle Holst1, Lars Nilsson3, Rickard Öste24 and Kristina E Andersson5

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Biotechnology, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, Box 124, Lund, SE-221 00, Sweden

2 Aventure AB, Scheelevägen 22, Box 719, Lund, SE-220 07, Sweden

3 Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, Box 124, Lund, SE-221 00, Sweden

4 Division of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Lund University, Box 124, Lund, SE-221 00, Sweden

5 Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, BMC D12, Lund, SE-221 84, Sweden

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AMB Express 2012, 2:66  doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-66

Published: 13 December 2012

Abstract

Intake of dietary fibres may reduce the prevalence of physiological risk factors of the metabolic syndrome, such as high plasma lipid levels and low-grade inflammatory state. Dietary fibres are usually of plant origin however microbial exopolysaccharides (EPSs) have analogue structures that could potentially exert similar physiological effects. Pediococcus parvulus 2.6 (Pd 2.6) excretes a ropy EPS and has previously shown probiotic potential. The aim of this work was to evaluate physiological effects of Pd 2.6 and its EPS in vivo. The live Pd 2.6 (both the ropy and non-ropy isogenic variant) and its purified EPS were fed to hypercholesterolemic LDL-receptor deficient mice for 6 weeks to investigate their effects on cholesterol levels and the inflammatory tone of the animals. Both variants of Pd 2.6 survived passage through the mouse gut fulfilling an important criterion of probiotics. The ability to produce EPS was conferring an advantage to survival (faecal recovery of 3.7 (1.9-8.7) vs. 0.21 (0.14-0.34) *108 CFU, P < 0.001, median and 25th and 75th percentiles). The ropy Pd 2.6 decreased the levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 compared to the EPS alone (591 ± 14 vs. 646 ± 13 ng/ml, P < 0.05). An increase in liver weight in mice fed the purified EPS was observed, but with no change in liver lipids. No changes in blood lipids were detected in any group. Further the EPS induced growth of the caecal tissue and increased the amount of caecal content showing bulking properties like that of a dietary fibre.

Keywords:
Pediococcus parvulus; Cholesterol; Exopolysaccharide; Lactic acid bacteria