Applied and environmental microbiology

Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 4356 prevents atherosclerosis via inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption in apolipoprotein E-knockout mice.

PMID 25261526


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 4356 on the development of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-knockout (ApoE(-/-)) mice. Eight-week-old ApoE(-/-) mice were fed a Western diet with or without L. acidophilus ATCC 4356 daily for 16 weeks. L. acidophilus ATCC 4356 protected ApoE(-/-) mice from atherosclerosis by reducing their plasma cholesterol levels from 923 ± 44 to 581 ± 18 mg/dl, likely via a marked decrease in cholesterol absorption caused by modulation of Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 (NPC1L1). In addition, suppression of cholesterol absorption induced reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) in macrophages through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor/liver X receptor (PPAR/LXR) pathway. Fecal lactobacillus and bifidobacterium counts were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the L. acidophilus ATCC 4356 treatment groups than in the control groups. Furthermore, L. acidophilus ATCC 4356 was detected in the rat small intestine, colon, and feces during the feeding trial. The bacterial levels remained high even after the administration of lactic acid bacteria had been stopped for 2 weeks. These results suggest that administration of L. acidophilus ATCC 4356 can protect against atherosclerosis through the inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption. Therefore, L. acidophilus ATCC 4356 may be a potential therapeutic material for preventing the progression of atherosclerosis.