Purpose: In this study, we aimed to characterize toll-like receptor (TLR)-3-mediated inflammatory immune response in porcine intestinal epithelial (PIE) cells and in PIE-immune cell co-cultures and, to evaluate if these in vitro systems are useful for selecting immunomodulatory lactic acid bacteria. Results: We demonstrated that these systems are valuable tools for the in vitro study of the inflammatory response triggered by TLR3 in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and of the interaction between IECs and immune cells. In addition, we showed that PIE cells could be used for the selection of immunobiotic lactobacilli strains with anti-inflammatory activities. We found that Lactobacillus casei MEP221114 is an immunobiotic candidate for modulation of TLR3-mediated inflammatory responses. Conclusion: The present study deepened our understanding of the mechanisms of immunobiotic action by demonstrating that the interaction between some lactobacilli strains and IECs can up-regulate the mRNA expression of TLR negative regulators and that this effect could help to regulate the production of inflammatory mediators during the generation of a TLR3-mediated immune response.
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