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To understand the anti-inflammaging effect of lactic acid bacteria, we selected NF-κB activation-inhibitory Lactobacillus pentosus var. plantarum C29 and investigated its memory-enhancing and anti-inflammatory effects in aged Fischer 344 rats. C29 (2 × 109 CFU rat−1), which was orally administered once a day (6 days per week) for 8 weeks, significantly restored age-reduced spontaneous alternation to 95·2% of that seen in young rats (P < 0·05). C29 treatment also shortened the escape latency on the 4th day to 53·8% of that seen in young rats (P < 0·05). Twenty hours after the last training session, C29 significantly increased the swimming time within the platform quadrant, which was shortened in the aged control rats. Oral administration of C29 restored age-reduced doublecortin (DCX) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) activation in aged rats. Treatment of aged rats with C29 suppressed the expression of p16, cyclooxygenase-2, and inducible nitric oxide synthase, as well as the activation of Akt, mTOR, and NF-κB in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that C29 ameliorates ageing-dependent memory impairment by inhibiting NF-κB signalling pathway, inducing DCX and BDNF expression and activating CREB.The anti-inflammatory Lactobacillus pentosus var. plantarum C29 had the memory-enhancing effect in aged Fischer 344 rats by restoring doublecortin and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and suppressing p16 expression and NF-κB activation in the brain. Therefore, C29 may be useful in ameliorating age-related degenerative dementia.