The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-obesity activity of a probiotic bifidobacterial strain in a mouse model with obesity induced by a high-fat diet. The mice were fed a high-fat diet supplemented with Bifidobacterium breve B-3 at 10(8) or 10(9) CFU/d for 8 weeks. B. breve B-3 supplementation dose-dependently suppressed the accumulation of body weight and epididymal fat, and improved the serum levels of total cholesterol, fasting glucose and insulin. The bifidobacterial counts in the caecal contents and feces were significantly increased with the B. breve B-3 administration. The expression of genes related to fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity in the gut and epididymal fat tissue was up-regulated by this administration. These results suggest that the use of B. breve B-3 would be effective in reducing the risk of obesity.