The Lactobacillus species in the digestive tracts of immune-deficient scid mice was distinct from that in control mice, i.e. Lactobacillus murinus in scid and L. johnsonii in control mice, according to their 16SrRNA, indicating that a symbiotic relationship between lactobacilli and a host is established under pressure from the immune system. The caecal and colonal contents rich in L. murinus of scid mice were loose with a strong sour smell, resulting in diarrhoea, and those with L. johnsonii in control mice included abundant solid materials. Lactobacillus glycolipids were revealed to be recognized by the immune system, and by TLC-immunostaining, LacTetH-DG (Galα1-6Galα1-6Galα1-2Glcα1-3'DG) of L. johnsonii was detected in the stomach, caecum and colon of control mice, but not in those of scid ones, in which fucosylation of a receptorGA1for L. johnsonii was enhanced more than 4-fold compared with in the control mice. Thus, structural modification of receptor glycolipids was revealed to occur in the process of establishment of a symbiotic relationship between lactobacilli and a host. LacTetH-DG was also immunogenic to human, because of the presence of natural antibodies against it, and the antibody binding to it was comparable to that of blood group- and species-related glycosphingolipids.
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