Lactobacillus reduced kidney inflammation
The researchers found that the female mouse models – but not male mouse models – demonstrated improvements in kidney function and increased survival, compared with controls.
Further investigation revealed that the increase in gut Lactobacillus led to improvements in intestinal permeability – that is, it helped to prevent “leaky gut,” which is the seepage of toxins, microbes, and other intestinal products from the gut into the bloodstream.
“Lactobacillus treatment significantly decreased intestinal permeability in these mice,” say the authors, “and likely prevented detrimental bacteria and their antigens from penetrating the intestinal epithelium.”
What is more, Lactobacillus-treated mice showed suppression of pro-inflammatory factors in the lymphatic system, as well as improvements in the proportions of regulatory and pathogenic T cells. This, in turn, reduced kidney inflammation.
The researchers are unclear as to why male mouse models of lupus nephritis did not experience any benefits from Lactobacillus treatment, but they speculate that the male hormone testosterone could be to blame.