Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 296–303 | Cite as

Potential use of lactic acid bacteria Leuconostoc mesenteroides as a probiotic for the removal of Pb(II) toxicity

  • Young-Joo Yi
  • Jeong-Muk Lim
  • Suna Gu
  • Wan-Kyu Lee
  • Eunyoung Oh
  • Sang-Myeong Lee
  • Byung-Taek Oh
Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry


It has been demonstrated that certain lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can sequester metal ions by binding them to their surfaces. In the present study, lead (Pb)-resistant LAB were isolated from kimchi, a Korean fermented food. A total of 96 different LAB strains were isolated, and 52 strains showed lead resistance. Among them, an LAB strain-96 (L-96) identified as Leuconostoc mesenteroides showed remarkable Pb resistance and removal capacity. The maximum adsorption capacity of this strain calculated using the Langmuir isotherm was 60.6 mg Pb/g. In an in vivo experiment, young male mice were provided with water (A), Pb-water (B), or Pb-water+ L-96 (C) during puberty. Lower glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT) and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) levels in Pb-exposed male mice that received strain L-96 as a probiotic were suggestive of reduced hepatotoxicity. Moreover, feces from mice treated with L-96 contained more Pb than feces from untreated mice. Increased Pb elimination likely reduced internal accumulation, and this hypothesis was supported by significantly lower Pb concentrations in kidneys and testes of the mice treated with strain L-96. The motility and ATP content of epididymal spermatozoa were partially restored if strain L-96 was administered. In conclusion, isolated L-96 LAB had lead-biosorption activity and efficiently detoxified lead-poisoned male mice, resulting in recovering male reproductive function. These results suggest the potential use of LAB as a probiotic to protect humans from the adverse effects of Pb exposure.


fermentation exopolysaccharides environmental health bioremediation lactic acid bacteria 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young-Joo Yi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeong-Muk Lim
    • 1
    • 3
  • Suna Gu
    • 1
  • Wan-Kyu Lee
    • 4
  • Eunyoung Oh
    • 1
  • Sang-Myeong Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Byung-Taek Oh
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of BiotechnologyChonbuk National UniversityIksanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Safety, Environment and Life Science InstituteChonbuk National UniversityIksanRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Advanced Institute of Environment and Bioscience, College of Environmental and Bioresource SciencesChonbuk National UniversityIksanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.College of Veterinary MedicineChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea

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