Split-virus vaccine serves as a major countermeasure against influenza virus, but its effectiveness and protective action are not complete. We previously demonstrated the effect of Benifuuki, a green tea cultivar in Japan, on enhancing the split-virus vaccine–elicited immune response. However, little is known about the detail mechanisms. Here, we show that EGCG3”Me intake significantly potentiated the vaccine-elicited hemagglutination inhibition titer increase. Flow cytometry analysis revealed the increased Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) expression after EGCG3”Me treatment in lamina propria dendritic cells (LPDCs) and macrophages, which play crucial roles in the humoral immune system. TLR5 expression correlated with the level of interleukin-6 (IL-6)/C–C chemokine type receptor 5, which are important mediators of the humoral immunity. Taken together, In vivo and ex vivo studies showed that EGCG3”Me potentiated the split-virus vaccine–elicited immune response accompanied with the upregulation of TLR5 in intestine and splenocyte macrophages.
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