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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2011;75(1):40-6. Epub 2011 Jan 7.

Immunostimulatory in vitro and in vivo effects of a water-soluble extract from kale.

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Faculty of Agriculture, Ehime University, 3-5-7 Tarumi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan.


The water-soluble fraction of kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala DC.) had immunoglobulin (Ig) production stimulating activity in human hybridoma HB4C5 cells and human peripheral blood lymphocytes. The biochemical and physical properties of the main active substance in kale were found to be a heat-stable protein with a molecular weight higher than 50 kDa. The Ig production-stimulating factors were assumed to act on the translational and/or secreting processes of Igs. This Ig production-stimulating effect was also observed in lymphocytes from the mesenteric lymph node and Peyer's patches of mice that had been administered with the kale extract for 14 d. The partially purified kale extract was analyzed by LC-ESI-MS/MS, the result indicating ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) as an active substance. Rubisco from spinach indeed exhibited Ig production-stimulating activity in HB4C5 cells. These findings provide another beneficial aspect of kale as a health-promoting foodstuff.

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