The extract of Japanese soybean, Kurosengoku activates the production of IL-12 and IFN-γ by DC or NK1.1(+) cells in a TLR4- and TLR2-dependent manner

Cell Immunol. 2011;266(2):135-42. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Oct 1.


During the search for immuno-improving foods, we found that a variety of the Japanese soybean, Glycine max cv. Kurosengoku (Kurosengoku), which activated Type-1 immunity in a Toll-like receptor (TLR)4- and TLR2-dependent manner. Namely, the extract of Kurosengoku first caused production of IL-12 from DC and sequentially induced IFN-γ production by NK1.1(+) NK cells and NKT cells. The IFN-γ production was significantly blocked by neutralizing mAb against IL-12 or TLR4- and TLR2-deficient condition, indicating that TLR4- and TLR2-dependent activation of DC to produce IL-12 was essential for the production of IFN-γ from spleen cells by Kurosengoku. Moreover, the extract of Kurosengoku also enhanced production of IFN-γ from human PBMC by co-stimulation with anti-CD3 mAb in a TLR2- and TLR4-dependent manner. Thus, our findings strongly suggest that Kurosengoku might a novel immuno-improving food, which would be a useful tool for preventing the tip of immune balance in developed countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD3 Complex / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-12 / analysis
  • Interleukin-12 / biosynthesis*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / drug effects*
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / immunology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Soybeans / chemistry
  • Soybeans / immunology*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism


  • CD3 Complex
  • Plant Extracts
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma