2012 Volume 31 Issue 1 Pages 7-13
L-leucyl-L-leucine methyl ester (LLME) is known to remove lysosome-rich cells from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). To evaluate the immunopotentiating ability of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), we adopted the in vitro stimulation protocol of LLME-treated PBMCs as a model assay system and monitored the level of antibody produced by stimulated PBMCs. The results indicated that several LAB strains have immunopotentiating ability against PBMCs, as evidenced by the enhanced antibody production and increased number of antigen-specific B cells. Next, we identified T cells as the direct target cells of the immunopotentiating LAB strain L32, suggesting that L32 induced antibody production by PBMCs through T-cell activation. Finally, we tested the immunopotentiating ability of ligands for Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), which is known to mediate the LAB signal, and observed that both L32 and one of the TLR2 ligands, LTA-BS, induced antigen-specific antibody production by in vitro stimulated PBMC. This suggests that L32 and LTA-BS can be used as an adjuvant for stimulating immune reaction in PBMCs.