Here, we examined the functionality of Lactobacillus fermentum strain JDFM216, a newly isolated probiotic bacterium, using a Caenorhabditis elegans model. We determined bacterial colonization in the intestinal tract of C. elegans by plate counting and transmission electron microscopy and examined the survival of C. elegans using a solid killing assay. In addition, we employed DNA microarray analysis, quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction, and immunoblotting assays to explore health-promoting pathways induced by probiotic bacteria in C. elegans. Initially, we found that the probiotic bacterium L. fermentum strain JDFM216 was not harmful to the C. elegans host. Conditioning with JDFM216 led to its colonization in the nematode intestine and enhanced resistance in nematodes exposed to food-borne pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Interestingly, this probiotic strain significantly prolonged the life span of C. elegans. Whole-transcriptome analysis and transgenic worm assays revealed that the health-promoting effects of JDFM216 were mediated by a nuclear hormone receptor (NHR) family and PMK-1 signaling. Taken together, we described a new C. elegans-based system to screen novel probiotic activity and demonstrated that preconditioning with the probiotic L. fermentum strain JDFM216 may positively stimulate the longevity of the C. elegans host via specific pathway.
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