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Infect Immun. 1998 Dec;66(12):6058-62.

Lactobacilli and streptococci induce interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-18, and gamma interferon production in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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  • 1Department of Virology, National Public Health Institute, 00300 Helsinki, Finland.


Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated with three nonpathogenic Lactobacillus strains and with one pathogenic Streptococcus pyogenes strain, and cytokine gene expression and protein production were analyzed. All bacteria strongly induced interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA expression and protein production. S. pyogenes was the most potent inducer of secretion of IL-12 and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), and two of three Lactobacillus strains induced IL-12 and IFN-gamma production. All strains induced IL-18 protein production. IL-10 and IL-4 production was induced weakly and not at all, respectively. Our data show that nonpathogenic lactobacilli and pathogenic streptococci can induce Th1 type cytokines IL-12, IL-18, and IFN-gamma in human PBMC.

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