Recently, interest in functional foods that enhance immunity has increased owing to social and environmental changes. In this study, we investigated the immunomodulatory effects of fermented Benincasa hispida extract (FBE) in normal BALB/c mice. FBE enhanced nitric oxide (NO) production and natural killer (NK) cell activity. In addition, FBE increased perforin 1 and granzyme B production, demonstrating increased CD8+ cytotoxic T cell activity. CD4+ helper T cell activity was analyzed by measuring Th1 and Th2 cell-related cytokines. FBE enhanced the activity of Th1 and Th2 cells while maintaining their balance. Furthermore, FBE increased the mRNA expression of regulatory T cell-related genes (foxp3, IL-10, and TGF-β) that control excessive immune response, and upregulated the production of IgA and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that improve the immune environment in the intestine. Taken together, our results indicate that FBE represents a functional food ingredient with potential immunomodulatory activities. All rights reserved,...

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