When grown in a semi-defined medium, L. fermentum Lf2 synthesizes significant quantities (∼2 g/L) of two exopolysaccharides (EPS). The two EPS were separated by preparative size exclusion chromatography to give a high molecular mass β-glucan (1.23 × 10 6 Da) and a medium molecular mass heteroglycan (8.8 × 10 4 Da). The structure of the high molecular mass β-glucan was determined using a combination of NMR spectroscopy, monomer and linkage analysis. The EPS has the following structure:(Figure presented.) The immunomodulatory activity of the high molecular mass EPS was studied in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Exposure of PBMC to an aqueous solution of the EPS for 24 h led to increased cell proliferation, changes in expression of the cytokines CD14 and TLR2, and to an increase in production of TNF-α compared to controls. In contrast, when cells that had been treated with EPS for 24 h and from which the EPS had been removed, were subsequently exposed to the bacterial antigen LPS very low levels of TNF-α production were observed. This result indicates that the EPS imparts immunotolerance in PBMC. An ability to modulate the release of the proinflammatory mediators, such as TNF-α, is an important goal in the development of therapies for the treatment of diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, associated with excessive release of inflammatory mediators.