Dietary fibers modulate indices of intestinal immune function in rats

Beong Ou Lim, Koji Yamada, Michiko Nonaka, Yuichiro Kuramoto, Pham Hung, Michihiro Sugano

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142 Citations (Scopus)


To explore the immunological roles of dietary fiber, male 4-wk-old Sprague-Dawley rats were fed for 2 wk cellulose (water-insoluble), konjak mannan (water-soluble), pectin (water-soluble) or chitosan (acid-soluble) at 5 g/100 g diet. Serum IgE concentrations in rats fed konjak mannan, pectin and chitosan were significantly lower than in those fed cellulose (mean ± SEM: 5.0 ± 1.1, 3.6 ± 1.3, 3.0 ± 1.2 and 9.6 ± 1.9 μg/L, respectively). Rats fed pectin had significantly higher serum IgA and IgG concentrations (358 ± 38 and 424 ± 36 mg/L for IgA and IgG, respectively) than those fed cellulose (240 ± 31 and 337 ± 25 mg/L) or chitosan (176 ± 22 and 379 ± 23 mg/L), while the IgM concentration did not differ among the groups. Concentrations of IgA, IgG and IgM in mesenteric lymph node (MLN) lymphocytes generally were greater, while IgE concentration was lower, in rats fed pectin and chitosan than in those fed cellulose. The proportion of CD4+ T-cells in MLN lymphocytes was also dietary fiber-dependent, and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio was significantly higher in the pectin fed group than in all other groups. Under certain experimental conditions, MLN lymphocytes from rats fed pectin had markedly greater interferon-γ concentration than cells from other groups, while the effect on tumor necrosis factor-α concentration was less marked. Thus, dietary fiber may have an immunoregulatory effect on the intestinal immune system of rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-667
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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