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.
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