Effects of chronic treatment with new strains of Lactobacillus plantarum on cognitive, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in male mice

PLoS One. 2020 Jun 19;15(6):e0234037. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234037. eCollection 2020.


Psychobiotics correspond to a class of probiotics, mainly of the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, capable of producing neuroactive substances, such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin, which exert effects on the brain-gut axis. Evidence suggests that psychobiotics can have a beneficial effect on mood, anxiety and cognition. The present study evaluated the effects of chronic administration of two new strains of Lactobacillus plantarum, L. plantarum 286 (Lp 286) and L. plantarum 81 (Lp 81) isolated from the fermentation of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) and cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum), respectively, on cognitive, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in male Swiss mice. Different groups of animals were administered (oral gavage) solutions of vehicle (0.85% saline plus 15% skim milk), Lp 286 (109/0.1 ml CFU) or Lp 81 (109/0.1 ml CFU) for 30 days, and animals were tested for general locomotor activity, depressive-like behavior in the forced swim test, and learning/memory and anxiety-like behavior in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task. Treatment with the strains Lp 286 and Lp 81 did not interfere with locomotor activity or learning and memory. The Lp 286 strain exerted anti-depressant- and anxiolytic-like effects under our experimental conditions. Our findings add to the current body of evidence suggesting that probiotics from the genus Lactobacillus may exert psychobiotic potential and introduce a new strain, Lp 286, as a potential candidate in the prevention or as therapeutic adjuvant in the treatment of mental disorders.

PMID:32559185 | PMC:PMC7304620 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0234037