Identification of novel probiotic strains is of great interest in the field of functional foods. Specific strains of heat-killed bacteria have been reported to exert immunomodulatory effects. Herein, we investigated the immune-stimulatory function of heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum KCTC 13314BP (LBP). Treatment with LBP significantly increased the production of TNF-α and IL-6 by macrophages. More importantly, LBP was able to enhance the phagocytic activity of macrophages against bacterial particles. Activation of p38, JNK, ERK, NF-κB, and STAT3 was involved in the immunomodulatory function of LBP. LBP treatment significantly increased production of TNF-α by bone marrow-derived macrophages and splenocytes, further confirming the immunostimulatory effect of LBP in primary immune cells. Interestingly, the immunomodulatory effects of LBP were much stronger than those of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a well-known probiotic strain. These results indicate that LBP can be a promising immune-enhancing functional food agent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology