Modulation of cytokine gene expression by selected Lactobacillus isolates in the ileum, caecal tonsils and spleen of Salmonella-challenged broilers.
Probiotics have been used to control Salmonella colonization in the chicken intestine. Recently, we demonstrated that certain selected Lactobacillus isolates were able to reduce Salmonella infection in the chicken spleen and liver as well as down-regulated Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 virulence gene expression in the chicken caecum. To further understand the mechanisms through which Lactobacillus protected chickens from Salmonella infection, the present study has investigated the Lactobacillus isolate(s)-induced host immune response of chickens to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection. A thorough examination of cytokine gene expression in the ileum, caecal tonsils, and spleen on days 1 and 3 post-Salmonella infection showed a dynamic spatial and temporal response to Salmonella infection and Lactobacillus treatments. In most instances, it was evident that treatment of chickens with Lactobacillus isolates could significantly attenuate Salmonella-induced changes in the gene expression profile. These included the genes encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines [lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF factor, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-8], T helper 1 cytokines [IL-12 and interferon (IFN)-γ], and T helper 2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10). Another important observation from the present investigation was that the response induced by a combination of Lactobacillus isolates was generally more effective than that induced by a single Lactobacillus isolate. Our results show that administration of certain selected Lactobacillus isolates can effectively modulate Salmonella-induced cytokine gene expression, and thus help reduce Salmonella infection in chickens.