Lupinus mutabilis edible beans protect against bacterial infection in uroepithelial cells

Witchuda Kamolvit, Vera Nilsén, Silvia Zambrana, Soumitra Mohanty, Eduardo Gonzales, Claes Göran Östenson, Annelie Brauner

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4 Scopus citations


Lupinus mutabilis is a South American herb with edible beans, known to reduce serum glucose levels in diabetic patients. Furthermore, L. mutabilis contains phytochemicals known to decrease bacterial load. Based on the increased urinary tract infections experienced among patients with diabetes, we investigated the effect of L. mutabilis on bladder epithelial cells in the protection of E. coli infection during normal and high glucose concentrations. We did not observe any direct antibacterial effect by L. mutabilis extract. Instead we observed an influence on the host cells, with indirect impact on bacteria and their possibility of causing infection. L. mutabilis extract decreased adhesion to bladder epithelial cells of uropathogenic bacteria, including drug-resistant strains. Moreover, uroplakin1a, involved in adhesion, was downregulated while the antimicrobial peptide RNase 7 was upregulated in L. mutabilis treated cells irrespectively of glucose concentration. This supports an early effect fighting bacteria. Additionally, L. mutabilis prevented bacterial biofilm formation, which is used by bacteria to evade the immune system and antibiotics. In summary, L. mutabilis protects against bacterial infection in uroepithelial cells by preventing adhesion through alteration of the cell surface, increasing antimicrobial peptide expression, and reducing biofilm formation. Together, this promotes bacterial clearance, suggesting that L. mutabilis as extract or as a dietary item can contribute to the prevention of urinary tract infections, which is of importance in an era of increasing antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1098015
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Witchuda Kamolvit et al.


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