Background: Health benefits, including immune modulating capability, exerted by Bifidobacterium strains have been attributed to their exopolysaccharides (EPSs).
Objective: The effects of the purified EPS from B. longum W11 on cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) alone or ConA-stimulated were investigated.
Method: The production of IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 by PBMCs from healthy adult donors was analysed using purified EPS at two different concentrations (100 µg/mL and 200 µg/mL) and ConA, as an immunopotentiating marker. Moreover, the monosaccharide composition of the EPS from B. longum W11 was detected using HPLC analysis.
Results: The results demonstrated the ability of purified EPS to increase the production of the tested cytokines, except IL-10, in ConA-stimulated PBMCs. In not-stimulated-PBMCs, EPS increased the production of IL-6 (at 200 µg/mL) and IL-10 (at 100 µg/mL). The HPLC analysis showed the presence of main monomers, galactose and glucose (ratio 1:1 wt/wt), and small amount of rhamnose.
Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate the ability of the EPS produced by B. longum W11 to interact in vitro with the human PBMCs, showing an immune-regulatory profile alone and an immune stimulatory profile in ConA-stimulated PBMCs. This suggests putative applications for the EPS from B. longum W11 in different pathological conditions.