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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 1098015, 8 pages
Research Article

Lupinus mutabilis Edible Beans Protect against Bacterial Infection in Uroepithelial Cells

1Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden
3Area de Farmacologia, Instituto de Investigaciones Farmaco Bioquimicas, Facultad de Ciencias Farmacéuticas y Bioquimicas, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia

Correspondence should be addressed to Annelie Brauner; es.ik@renuarb.eilenna

Received 29 July 2018; Revised 6 November 2018; Accepted 15 November 2018; Published 16 December 2018

Guest Editor: Constantinos Athanassopoulos

Copyright © 2018 Witchuda Kamolvit et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.