Four-week-old male C3H/HeN mice were bred with diets consisting of ovalbumin alone (OVA, control diet) or mixtures of OVA and cow's milk immunoglobulin G (IgG-added diets) as a protein source for 4 or 5 weeks, and both the cellular and humoral immune properties of the mice were investigated. The number of interleukin (IL)-12+CD11b+ cells in spleens and the formation of superoxide by peritoneal macrophages were higher in mice given the IgG-added diet than in those given the control diet. The number of natural killer cells in Peyer's patches or spleens and the cytotoxic activity of spleen cells toward an erythroleukemia cell line, K562, were also higher in mice given the IgG-added diet. In contrast, the numbers of interferon-γ+CD4+ and IL-4+CD4+ cells in Peyer's patches or spleens and the levels of total or OVA-specific intestinal IgA and serum IgG were significantly lower in mice given the IgG-added diet than in those given the control diet. In addition, the number of cells expressing CD19 in spleens was significantly higher in mice given the IgG-added diet. These results indicate that oral ingestion of cow's milk IgG may stimulate some innate cellular immune systems, while suppressing humoral adaptive immune responses in the mouse.