Previously, we reported that the non-viable immunomodulatory Bifidobacterium infantis MCC12 and Bifidobacterium breve MCC1274 strains (paraimmunobiotic bifidobacteria) were able to increase the protection against rotavirus infection in bovine intestinal epithelial (BIE) cells. In order to gain insight into the influence of paraimmunobiotic bifidobacteria on the innate antiviral immune response of BIE cells, their effect on the transcriptomic response triggered by Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) activation was investigated. By using microarray technology and qPCR analysis, we obtained a global overview of the immune genes involved in the innate antiviral immune response in BIE cells. Activation of TLR3 by poly(I:C) in BIE cells significantly increased the expression of interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-β, several interferon-stimulated genes, cytokines, and chemokines. It was also observed that both paraimmunobiotic bifidobacteria differently modulated immune genes expression in poly(I:C)-challenged BIE cells. Most notable changes were found in genes involved in antiviral defence (IFN-β, MX1, OAS1X, MDA5, TLR3, STAT2, STAT3), cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6), and chemokines (CCL2, CXCL2, CXCL6) that were significantly increased in bifidobacteria-treated BIE cells. B. infantis MCC12 and B. breve MCC1274 showed quantitative and qualitative differences in their capacities to modulate the innate antiviral immune response in BIE cells. B. breve MCC1274 was more efficient than the MCC12 strain to improve the production of type I IFNs and antiviral factors, an effect that could be related to its higher ability to protect against rotavirus replication in BIE cells. Interestingly, B. infantis MCC12 showed a remarkable anti-inflammatory effect. The MCC12 strain was more efficient to reduce the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (IL-16, IL-20, CX3CL1) when compared with B. breve MCC1274. These results provided valuable information for the deeper understanding of the antiviral immune response of intestinal epithelial cells as well as the host-paraimmunobiotic interaction in the bovine host.
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