Obesity causes immune cells to infiltrate into adipose tissues and secrete proinflammatory mediators, promoting the development of chronic diseases. The seed peptide lunasin has been reported to have several bioactivities. We aimed to investigate the immunomodulatory properties of lunasin in obese models. Female and male C57BL/6J mice were divided into three groups: low-fat diet (LF), high-fat diet (HF), and HF with an intraperitoneal injection of lunasin (HFL). In females, lunasin decreased the levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin (IL)-1β, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) produced in peritoneal macrophages, indicating a decrease in F4/80+ macrophage infiltration, especially the CD11c + M1 phenotype. Serum leptin and tissue-oxidized lipid malondialdehyde levels were decreased in the HFL group. In males, lunasin normalized the obesity-induced increase in spleen size and splenocyte numbers. Moreover, lunasin inhibited IL-6 secretion while promoting interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and IL-2 production in the splenocytes. In vitro, lunasin increased EL-4 T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production in activated T cells under obese conditions. Thus, lunasin is a potential natural compound that promotes immunomodulation in both female and male obese mice in a sex-dependent manner. Furthermore, lunasin mediates the anti-inflammatory response and enhances the T helper type 1 cell response to obesity-related immune disorders.
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