In the current study, we sought to investigate whether lysed Enterococcus faecalis FK-23 (LFK), a heat-killed probiotic preparation, attenuated eosinophil influx into the upper airway and had immunomodulatory activity in a murine allergic rhinitis model. Eighteen BALB/c mice were divided into three groups; the ovalbumin (OVA)-sen-sitized/challenged group, which received saline orally for 6 weeks (OVA group), the OVA-sensitized/challenged group, which received LFK orally for 6 weeks (LFK-fed group), and the non-sensitized group, which received saline for 6 weeks (saline control group). Nasal rubbing and sneezing were monitored during the study. After the final challenge, interleukin (IL)-4, interferon (IFN)-γ, and OVA-specific IgE levels in the sera and splenocyte culture supernatants were determined, eosinophilic infiltrate into the upper airway was quantified, and splenic CD4+
regulatory T cells (Tregs) were examined by flow cytometry. We found that nasal rubbing was sig-nificantly reduced in LFK-fed mice compared to the OVA group on d 27 and 35, and sneezing was significantly inhibited by LFK administration for 35 d. LFK-fed mice had significantly less eosinophil influx into the nasal mucosa than the OVA group. There were no significant differences between the LFK-fed group and OVA group in the serum and splenocyte culture supernatant levels of IL-4, IFN-γ, and OVA-specific IgE. Interestingly, the LFK-fed mice had a significantly greater percentage of splenic CD4+
Tregs than OVA group. Our results indicate that oral administration of LFK may alleviate nasal symptoms, reduce nasal eosinophilia, and increase the percentage of CD4+
Tregs in experimental allergic rhinitis.