British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Effects of heat-inactivated Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 on metabolic characteristics and immunity of rats with the metabolic syndrome

Lei Shia1, Ming Lia1, Kenji Miyazawaa2, Yun Lia1, Masaru Hiramatsua2, Jiayu Xua1, Cai Gonga1, Xiaofan Jinga1, Fang Hea2 c1 and Chengyu Huanga1 c1

a1 Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, People's Republic of China

a2 Technical Research Laboratory, Takanashi Milk Products Company Limited, Yokohama, Kanagawa 241-0023, Japan


The present study investigated the potential health-promoting effects of heat-inactivated Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 (TMC0356) on the metabolic syndrome (MS) and the probable mechanisms underlying these effects using an MS rat model. For the purpose of the study, sixty Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups: a control group fed a conventional diet, an MS model group fed a high-fat and high-salt (HFS) diet and three TMC0356 test groups (low-, medium- and high-dose groups) fed an HFS diet supplemented with TMC0356 at 41·8, 83·5 and 167·0 mg/kg body weight (BW) per d, respectively. Food intake and BW were measured weekly. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), lipid profiles and blood pressure (BP) were measured at 0, 5, 10 and 15 weeks. Organ coefficients, immune cell counts and serum insulin, adiponectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, TNF-α, IgG and secretory IgA levels were measured at the 15th week after diet intervention. The HFS diet increased the BW, liver or fat:BW ratio, FBG, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, adiponectin, serum LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol levels and BP (P< 0·01). Average food and energy intakes in the three TMC0356 groups were significantly lower than those of the MS model group. All the metabolic indices, except BP, were markedly improved (P< 0·05) by oral administration of low and medium doses of TMC0356. The thymus index in the medium-dose group and lymphocyte, CRP, IL-6, TNF-α and IgG levels in all the three TMC0356 groups were significantly increased (P< 0·05 or P< 0·01) compared with those in the MS model group. These results suggest that TMC0356 can improve the metabolic characteristics of MS rats by suppressing appetite. Additionally, the enhancement of inflammatory immune response may be, at least in part, the mechanism underlying the health-promoting effects of TMC0356 on the MS.

(Received October 14 2011)

(Revised February 24 2012)

(Accepted February 24 2012)

(Online publication May 01 2012)

Key Words:

  • Metabolic syndrome;
  • Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356;
  • Inflammatory immune responses


c1 Corresponding author: Corresponding authors: Dr F. He, fax +81 45 364 2160, email; Professor C. Huang, fax +86 028 85501170, email


  Abbreviations: BP, blood pressure; BW, body weight; FBG, fasting blood glucose; HFS, high fat and high salt; HOMA-IR, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance; MS, metabolic syndrome; TC, total cholesterol; TMC0356, Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356