, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 115–123 | Cite as

Enhancement of interferon-β production with sphingomyelin from fermented milk

  • Kazuhiro Osada
  • Kazuhiko Nagira
  • Kiichiro Teruya
  • Hirofumi Tachibana
  • Sanetaka Shirahata
  • Hiroki Murakami


A fermented milk, Kefir, contains an active substance which enhances IFN-β secretion of a human osteosarcoma line MG-63 treated with a chemical inducer, poly I: poly C. The active substance in the fermented milk was identified to be sphingomyelin (SpM) by a combined use of a fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry (FAB-MS) and a fast atom bombardment tandem mass spectrometry (FAB-MS/MS). SpM from fermented milk (F-SpM) was a mixture of four molecular species of SpMs having C21-, C22-, C23- and C24-fatty acids. F-SpM enhanced the IFN secretion 14 times, SpMs from other sources also enhanced moderately (2–3 times). Sphingosine and lysosphingomyelin also enhanced the activity but ceramide and cerebroside did not.

Key words

Interferon-β Sphingomyelin Sphingosine Fermented milk 











fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry


fast atom bombardment tandem mass spectrometry


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiro Osada
    • 1
  • Kazuhiko Nagira
    • 2
  • Kiichiro Teruya
    • 1
  • Hirofumi Tachibana
    • 1
  • Sanetaka Shirahata
    • 1
  • Hiroki Murakami
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Genetic Resources TechnologyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Dojindo LaboratoriesKumamotoJapan

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