We investigated the effect of oral feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on immunoglobulin E (IgE) production in mice. The strain was orally administered to BALB/c mice that had been preinjected intraperitoneally with ovalbumin, and the level of IgE in serum was determined. Results indicated that the oral feeding of L. casei strain Shirota was effective in inhibiting IgE production in serum, and the IgE production in response to ovalbumin was significantly inhibited in the mice. The in vitro production of IgE by the spleen cells from mice fed L. casei strain Shirota in response to restimulation with ovalbumin was inhibited in contrast to that of spleen cells from the control group. We also examined the pattern of cytokine production by spleen cells from mice fed L. casei strain Shirota followed by restimulation with ovalbumin in vitro. In the mice fed L. casei strain Shirota, the production by the spleen cells of Th1 cell-associated cytokines, such as interferon-gamma and interleukin-2, was higher than that by the spleen cells from the control group. In contrast, the production of Th2 cell-associated cytokines, such as interleukin-4, interleukin-5, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10, by spleen cells in the group fed L. casei strain Shirota was lower than that by the cells from the control group. Furthermore, the interleukin-12 production of the spleen cells from mice fed L. casei strain Shirota was also higher than that of the control group.