Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2006 Sep;13(9):997-1003.

Essential roles of monocytes in stimulating human peripheral blood mononuclear cells with Lactobacillus casei to produce cytokines and augment natural killer cell activity.

Author information

Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research, 1796 Yaho, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8650, Japan.


We examined the effect of a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, on cytokine production and natural killer (NK) cell activity in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC). The cellular mechanisms of immunoregulation by L. casei strain Shirota were also investigated. L. casei strain Shirota stimulated PBMNC to secrete interleukin-12 (IL-12), gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and IL-10. However, depletion of monocytes from PBMNC eliminated the induction of these cytokines. L. casei strain Shirota was phagocytosed by monocytes and directly stimulated them to secrete IL-12, TNF-alpha, and IL-10. IFN-gamma production was diminished by the addition of anti-IL-12 antibody to the PBMNC cultures. Purified T cells, but not NK cells, produced IFN-gamma effectively when stimulated with L. casei strain Shirota in the presence of monocytes, indicating that monocytes triggered by L. casei strain Shirota help T cells to produce IFN-gamma through secreting IL-12. In addition, NK cell activity and CD69 expression on NK cells increased after cultivation of PBMNC with L. casei strain Shirota. When monocytes were depleted from PBMNC, L. casei strain Shirota did not enhance NK cell activity. These results demonstrate that monocytes play critical roles in the induction of cytokines and following the augmentation of NK cell activity during the stimulation of human PBMNC with L. casei strain Shirota.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center