Publications & Posters

Strain Specific Stress-modulating Effects Of Candidate Probiotics: A Systematic Screening In A Mouse Model Of Chronic Restraint Stress


Stenman LK, Patterson E, Meunier J, Roman FJ and Lehtinen MJ

Behav Brain Res. 2019 Nov 22:112376. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112376



Changes in the gut microbiota have been implicated in mood and cognition. In rodents, supplementation with certain bacteria have been shown to alleviate adverse effects of stress on gut microbiota composition and behaviour, but little is known of how the performance of different strains compare to each other. We took a systematic approach to test the efficacy of twelve candidate probiotic strains from ten species/sub-species ofBifidobacterium and Lactobacillus on behaviours and neuroendocrine responses of chronically stressed mice.


The strains were tested in four screening experiments with non-stressed and chronically stressed vehicle groups. The three most efficacious strains were re-tested to validate the results. Mice were administered a daily oral gavage containing either 1 × 109 colony forming units of selected candidate probiotic or saline solution for one week prior to and for three weeks during daily chronic restraint stress. Behavioural tests including the elevated plus maze, open field, novel object recognition, and forced swim test were applied during week five. Corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) were analysed to measure the neuroendocrine response to stress. Plasma and tissue samples were collected for biomarker analyses.


Of the twelve candidate probiotics,Lactobacillus paracasei Lpc-37, Lactobacillus plantarum LP12407, Lactobacillus plantarum LP12418 and Lactobacillus plantarum LP12151 prevented stress-associated anxiety and depression-related behaviours compared with chronically stressed vehicle mice. In addition, Lpc-37 improved cognition.


This systematic screening indicates species- and strain-dependent effects on behavioural outcomes related to stress and further suggests that strains differ from each other in their effects on potential mechanistic outcomes.