Unheated and heat-treated homogenates were separately prepared from candidate probiotic bacteria, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus. We compared the phytohemagglutinin-induced proliferation of mononuclear cells in the presence of homogenates and in the presence of a control containing no homogenate by assessing thymidine incorporation in cell cultures. All homogenates suppressed proliferation, whether the enzymatic activity was inactivated or not inactivated by heating. When the proliferation assays were repeated with cytoplasmic and cell wall extracts derived from the homogenate of L. rhamnosus GG, the cytoplasmic extract but not the cell wall extract was suppressive. These findings indicate that candidate probiotic bacteria possess a heat-stable antiproliferative component(s). These bacteria may be used to generate microbiologically nonviable yet immunologically active probiotic food products that are easier to store and have a longer shelf life.