Whole cells, cell wall components and some soluble factors from Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) are known to invoke immune responses as they interact with animal and human immune cells. In the present study, we found that chromosomal DNA from LGG is a potent inducer of splenic B cell proliferation, CD86/CD69 expression and cytokine production in mice. In the genomic DNA of LGG we discovered TTTCGTTT oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) ID35, which has a potent activity In a number of immunostimulatory assays. Phosphorothioate backbone is not required for the activity of ID35.The ODN ID35 showed levels of activity comparable with those induced by the murine proto-type ODN 1826 in B cell proliferation, CD86/CD69 expression, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, IL-18, interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) mRNA expression and IFN-γ/IL-12p70 protein production assays. Additionally, ID35 appeared to be equally active in both murine and human immune cells. These stimulatory effects are due to TTTCGTTT motif located in the 5′ end of ID35. In this study we demonstrate for a first time that, DNA from LGG is a factor of immunobiotic activity. Furthermore, ODN ID35 is the first ODN, with such a strong immunostimulatory activity to be found in immunobiotic bacterial DNA.
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