Preclinical studies with probiotics continue to unravel mechanisms of cytoprotection and suggest that approaches utilizing microbial products as therapeutics in acute and chronic gastrointestinal disorders could be effective. However, clinical trials using these bacteria have thus far been inconsistent. In this issue of the JCI, Yan et al. describe a novel mechanism of cytoprotection by p40, a soluble product of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, mediated via EGFR. The efficacy of p40 in three models of chemically induced colitis indicates tremendous therapeutic potential, though this finding will need to be verified in human patients.
Fayez K. Ghishan, Pawel R. Kiela
Schematic representation of the effects of p40 in colonic epithelial cells.