The mitogenic activities of whole cell lyophylized preparations, cell-wall components, and slime products obtained from Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris KVS20 were examined on murine spleen cells. Whole cell lyophylized preparations and slime products significantly (P < .05) stimulated mitogenic responses of the cells. The highest activity was induced by slime products in which the optimal concentration was 116 μg/ml. The significant (P < .05) increase of mitogenic activity induced by slime products occurred at 24 h, and the peak response was obtained 48 h after the stimulation. The activity was much higher in the fraction enriched with B cells than in the fraction enriched with T cells. In addition, slime products induced mitogenic activity to spleen cells of athymic nu/nu mice. The chemical analysis of lipopolysaccharide and the minimal concentration for mitogenic response eliminated the possibility that the activity of slime products may be due to the contamination of lipopolysaccharide. The data demonstrate that slime products are a potent B-cell-dependent mitogen.
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