Lactobacillus crispatus accelerates re-epithelialization in vaginal epithelial cell line MS74

Kazuhide Takada, Shihoko Komine-Aizawa, Tomoya Kuramochi, Shun Ito, Quang Duy Trinh, Ngan Thi Kim Pham, Mari Sasano, Satoshi Hayakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: The functions of vaginal lactobacilli in susceptibility to infectious diseases as regards epithelial barrier integrity and wound healing remain incompletely understood. Method of study: Lactobacillus crispatus, one of the most common Lactobacillus species in the vagina and among the most protective against sexually transmitted infections, was cocultured with an immortalized human vaginal epithelial cell line (MS74), and a scratch assay was performed to evaluate re-epithelialization. The concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF) was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). An immunofluorescence assay was performed to locate the expression of VEGF and VEGF receptor (VEGFR) 1 and 2. The effects of the bacterial supernatant of L. crispatus were also evaluated. Results: Lactobacillus crispatus significantly accelerated re-epithelialization of MS74 cells, accompanied by an increase in VEGF concentration. In contrast, heat-killed L. crispatus did not show this effect. The bacterial supernatant of L. crispatus also induced re-epithelialization. The immunoreactivity of VEGF was higher at the scratched edge, whereas VEGFR1 and 2 stained site-independently. Recombinant VEGF induced cell migration in a dose-dependent manner. The bacterial supernatant of L. crispatus also significantly accelerated re-epithelialization in MS74 cells and increased the concentration of VEGF in the culture 24 hours after the scratch. Conclusion: These results may enhance our knowledge of the importance of L. crispatus in the healing of damaged vaginal epithelium and protection against the consequent risk of pathogenic infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and improve our understanding of vaginal epithelial barrier integrity maintenance by this bacterium.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13027
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • epithelial cells
  • Lactobacillus crispatus
  • re-epithelialization
  • vagina
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A
  • wound healing


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