Hosoya T, Sakai F, Yamashita M, Shiozaki T, Endo T, Ukibe K, Uenishi H, Kadooka Y, Moriya T, Nakagawa H, Nakayama Y, Miyazaki T.
Lactobacillus helveticus SBT2171 (LH2171) is a lactic acid bacterium with high protease activity and used in starter cultures in the manufacture of cheese. We recently reported that consumption of cheese manufactured using LH2171 alleviated symptoms of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. In this study, we have examined whether LH2171 itself exerts an inhibitory effect on the excessive proliferation of lymphocytes. We found that LH2171 inhibited the proliferation of LPS-stimulated mouse T and B cells, and the human lymphoma cell lines, Jurkat and BJAB. Cell cycle analysis showed an accumulation of LH2171-treated BJAB cells in the G2/M phase. Further, phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and c-Jun was reduced by LH2171 in BJAB cells. Subsequently, expression of cell division cycle 2 (CDC2), regulated by the JNK signaling pathway and essential for G2/M phase progression, was inhibited by LH2171. It was also demonstrated that intraperitoneal administration of LH2171 strongly alleviated symptoms of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice. These findings suggest that LH2171 inhibits the proliferation of lymphocytes through a suppression of the JNK signaling pathway and exerts an immunosuppressive effect in vivo.