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We have previously reported that heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 is a potent inducer of interleukin-12 (IL-12) in vivo as well as in vitro in mice. In order to develop effective usage of L. plantarum L-137 for tumor immunotherapy, we examined its antitumor effect against DBA/2 mice inoculated with syngenic P388D1 tumor cells in different treatment schedules. Daily injection of L. plantarum L-137 from the day of tumor inoculation induced a steep increase in plasma IL-12 only after the first injection but not after subsequent injections, and had no effect on tumor growth and survival time. In contrast, daily injection of L. plantarum L-137 from the 7th day after tumor inoculation exerted a marked antitumor effect but such an effect was not evident in mice treated with L. plantarum L-137 twice a week from the 7th day. IL-12 production was considerably impaired at the first injection but steeply increased after the third injection in the mice injected daily with L. plantarum L-137 from the 7th day. Our results suggest that daily administration of L. plantarum L-137 is required to exert an antitumor effect at the late stages of tumor development when IL-12 production is considerably impaired.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus plantarum L-137Increased Interleukin-12 ProductionBeneficial
Lactobacillus plantarum L-137Increased Survival TimeBeneficial
Lactobacillus plantarum L-137Reduced Tumor GrowthBeneficial

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