Probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 and acidophilus R0052) reduce the expression of toll-like receptor 4 in mice with alcoholic liver disease

Meegun Hong, Seung Woo Kim, Sang Hak Han, Dong Joon Kim, Ki Tae Suk, Yeon Soo Kim, Myong Jo Kim, Moon Young Kim, Soon Koo Baik, Young Lim Ham

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Objective: The role of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR 4) in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has been widely established. We evaluated the biological effects of probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 and acidophilus R0052), KRG (Korea red ginseng), and urushiol (Rhus verniciflua Stokes) on ALD, including their effects on normal and high-fat diet in mice. Methods: One hundred C57BL/6 mice were classified into normal (N) and high-fat diet (H) groups. Each group was divided into 5 sub-groups: control, alcohol, alcohol+probiotics, alcohol+KRG, and alcohol+urushiol. A liver function test, histology, electron-microscopy, interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, and IL-10, and TLR 4 were evaluated and compared. Results: In the N group, probiotics, KRG, and urushiol significantly reduced levels of TNF-α (12.3± 5.1, 13.4±3.9, and 12.1±4.3 vs. 27.9±15.2 pg/mL) and IL-1β (108.4±39.4, 75.0±51.0, and 101.1±26.8 vs. 162.4±37.5 pg/mL), which were increased by alcohol. Alcohol-induced TLR 4 expression was reduced by probiotics and urushiol (0.7±0.2, and 0.8±0.1 vs. 1.0±0.3, p<0.001). In the H group, IL-10 was significantly increased by probiotics and KRG, compared with alcohol (25.3±15.6 and 20.4±6.2 vs. 7.6±5.6 pg/mL) and TLR 4 expression was reduced by probiotics (0.8±0.2 vs. 1.0±0.3, p = 0.007). Conclusions Alcohol-induced TLR 4 expression was down-regulated by probiotics in the normal and high-fat diet groups. Probiotics, KRG, and urushiol might be effective in the treatment of ALD by regulating the gut-liver axis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0117451
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 18


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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