Author(s): Kimoto H, Mizumachi K, Okamoto T, Kurisaki J
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Abstract Few studies exist dealing with the probiotic activity of lactococci, which are commonly used as starter bacteria in the manufacture of many kinds of fermented dairy products. Fifteen strains of the genus Lactococcus were examined for their probiotic activities, such as immunomodulatory effects. Six strains induced the production of cytokines (IL-12, IL-6, and TNF-alpha) in macrophage-like cell line J774.1, and the highest induction was observed with Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis G50. The cytokine induction in the J774.1 cell line was almost entirely sustained after heat-killing of the strain. Spleen cells from BALB/c mice fed G50 culture produced more IL-12 and IFN-gamma and slightly less IL-4 and IL-6 than the control (i.e., without strain G50), indicating that strain G50 can enhance Th1-type immune response in vivo. The effect of the oral administration of strain G50 on antibody response in mice was also investigated. Mice were immunized with ovomucoid (OVM), a potent egg allergen, and the antibody level in the serum was then determined. The total IgE antibody level in the group treated with strain G50 was significantly lower than that of the control. The response of OVM-specific IgG1 and IgE antibodies tended to be low in the group that was administered strain G50, compared with the response of the control group. These results suggest that strain G50 has an ability to suppress the Th2 response. Thus, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis G50 is a potential probiotic strain for the suppression of hypersensitive reactions caused by the Th2 response.
This article was published in Microbiol Immunol
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