Robert Britton Lab

Lactobacillus Reuteri as a Key Therapeutic Bacterial Species


We use human derived strains of Lactobacillus reuteri to study their impact on a variety of host physiology and disease. One particular strain, L. reuteri 6475, has been shown to participate in preventing bone loss in multiple murine models of bone loss as well as in humans.  This same strain promotes social interaction in five different murine models of autism spectrum disorder. We have generated a host of genetic tools for the precision genome engineering of L. reuteri and are currently investigating how L. reuteri interacts with multiple facets of the host to impact human health.


Select Publications


Britton RA, Irwin R, Quach D, Schaefer L, Zhang J, Lee T, Parameswaran N, McCabe LR (2014). Probiotic L. reuteri Treatment Prevents Bone Loss in a Menopausal Ovariectomized Mouse Model. J Cell Physiol. 2014 Mar 27. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24636

van Pijkeren, JP and Britton RA. (2012). High-efficiency recombineering in lactic acid bacteria. Nucleic Acids Research. May;40(10):e76. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1472012 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Walter J, Britton RA, and Roos S. (2011) Microbes and Health Sackler Colloquium: Host-microbial symbiosis in the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract and the Lactobacillus reuteri paradigm. PNAS. 2011 Mar 15;108 Suppl 1:4645-52. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

van Pijkeren JP, Britton RA. (2014). Precision genome engineering in lactic acid bacteria. Microb Cell Fact. 2014 Aug 29;13 Suppl 1:S10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-13-S1-S10. Epub 2014 Aug 29.

Sgritta M, Dooling SW, Buffington SA, Momin EN, Francis MB, Britton RA, Costa-Mattioli M (2019). Mechanisms Underlying Microbial-Mediated Changes in Social Behavior in Mouse Models of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Neuron. 2019;101(2):246-259.e6. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.018

Schepper, J. D., Collins, F. L., Rios-Arce, N. D., Raehtz, S., Schaefer, L., Gardinier, J. D., Britton, R. A., Parameswaran, N., & McCabe, L. R. (2019). Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Prevents Postantibiotic Bone Loss by Reducing Intestinal Dysbiosis and Preventing Barrier Disruption. Journal of Mone and Mineral Research, 34(4), 681–698.

Quach D, Parameswaran N, McCabe L, Britton RA. Characterizing how probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri 6475 and lactobacillic acid mediate suppression of osteoclast differentiation. Bone Rep. 2019;11:100227. Published 2019 Nov 2. doi:10.1016/j.bonr.2019.100227