Lactobacillus species is more cytotoxic to human bladder cancer cells than Mycobacterium Bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guerin)

S. W. Seow, J. N. Rahmat, Ahmed Mohamed, R. Mahendran, Y. K. Lee, B. H. Bay

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    62 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: We determined if Lactobacillus species has growth inhibitory effects in human bladder cancer cell lines and how this effect compares with the known effects of Mycobacterium bovis, that is bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG).

    Materials and Methods: The growth of MGH and RT112 cells were determined by cell counts after 24, 48 and 72 hours of exposure to L. casei strain Shirota (Yakult, Singapore) or L. rhamnosus strain GG (National Collection of Industrial and Marine Bacteria, Ltd., Aberdeen, Scotland) (1 X 10(7) and 1 X 10(8) cfu) or BCG (1 X 10(7) cfu) in the presence and absence of streptomycin. Annexin-V was used to monitor the presence of pre-apoptotic cells.

    Results: L. rhamnosus GG inhibited MGH proliferation and it was cytotoxic to RT112 cells (p <0.05). L. casei Shirota was cytotoxic to the 2 cell lines (p <0.05). BCG had a similar cytotoxic effect in MGH cells as Lactobacillus species but was not as effective in RT112 cells. Streptomycin abrogated the cytotoxic effect of Lactobacillus species but not that of BCG. Cytotoxic activity was not found in Lactobacilli culture supernates but it was induced in the presence of mammalian cells. L. rhamnosus GG induced apoptosis in RT112 but not in MGH cells. No apoptotic cells were detected after treatment with L. casei Shirota.

    Conclusions: Lactobacillus species induced cytotoxic effects in bladder cancer cells. Unlike BCG, it requires bacterial protein synthesis. Like BCG, L. casei Shirota induces cell death primarily via necrosis. The cytoxicity of these lactobacilli in bladder cancer cells raises the possibility of using this species of bacteria as intravesical agents for treating bladder cancer.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2236-2239
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Urology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • bladder
    • bladder neoplasms
    • Mycobacterium bovis
    • Lactobacillus
    • TUMOR MBT-2
    • BCG


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