Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG modifies the metabolome of pathobionts in gnotobiotic mice

Jinhee Kim, Iyshwarya Balasubramanian, Sheila Bandyopadhyay, Ian Nadler, Rajbir Singh, Danielle Harlan, Amanda Bumber, Yuling He, Lee J. Kerkhof, Nan Gao, Xiaoyang Su, Ronaldo P. Ferraris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is the most widely used probiotic, but the mechanisms underlying its beneficial effects remain unresolved. Previous studies typically inoculated LGG in hosts with established gut microbiota, limiting the understanding of specific impacts of LGG on host due to numerous interactions among LGG, commensal microbes, and the host. There has been a scarcity of studies that used gnotobiotic animals to elucidate LGG-host interaction, in particular for gaining specific insights about how it modifies the metabolome. To evaluate whether LGG affects the metabolite output of pathobionts, we inoculated with LGG gnotobiotic mice containing Propionibacterium acnes, Turicibacter sanguinis, and Staphylococcus aureus (PTS). Results: 16S rRNA sequencing of fecal samples by Ion Torrent and MinION platforms showed colonization of germ-free mice by PTS or by PTS plus LGG (LTS). Although the body weights and feeding rates of mice remained similar between PTS and LTS groups, co-associating LGG with PTS led to a pronounced reduction in abundance of P. acnes in the gut. Addition of LGG or its secretome inhibited P. acnes growth in culture. After optimizing procedures for fecal metabolite extraction and metabolomic liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, unsupervised and supervised multivariate analyses revealed a distinct separation among fecal metabolites of PTS, LTS, and germ-free groups. Variables-important-in-projection scores showed that LGG colonization robustly diminished guanine, ornitihine, and sorbitol while significantly elevating acetylated amino acids, ribitol, indolelactic acid, and histamine. In addition, carnitine, betaine, and glutamate increased while thymidine, quinic acid and biotin were reduced in both PTS and LTS groups. Furthermore, LGG association reduced intestinal mucosal expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1α, IL-1β and TNF-α. Conclusions: LGG co-association had a negative impact on colonization of P. acnes, and markedly altered the metabolic output and inflammatory response elicited by pathobionts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
JournalBMC Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


  • Competitive exclusion
  • Fecal metabolites
  • Germ-free mice
  • Inflammation
  • Liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry
  • Microbiota
  • Propionibacterium acnes


Dive into the research topics of 'Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG modifies the metabolome of pathobionts in gnotobiotic mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this