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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of beta-glucan extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae on humoral and cellular immunity in weaned piglets.

Twenty-four barrows were used to investigate the effects of beta-glucan on immune function in weaned piglets. Pigs (8.09 +/- 0.20 kg, 28 d of age) were fed a diet without or with supplemented beta-glucan (50 mg/kg feed). All pigs were injected with ovalbumin (OVA) on day 14 to investigate their humoral immune response. On day 28, lymphocytes were isolated from all pigs to determine the effects of beta-glucan on cellular immunity of pigs in vitro. Lymphocytes from six pigs of each group were incubated with 16 microg lipopolysaccharide (LPS) per ml culture medium, the remainder with an equivalent volume of culture medium alone. Samples were collected at 0, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 48 h after LPS addition for determination of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha ( TNF-alpha), and interleukin-10 (IL-10). On day 31, six pigs of each group were injected with either LPS (25 microg/kg BW) or an equivalent amount of sterile saline. Blood samples were collected at 3 h after LPS injection for analysis of IL-6, TNF-alpha, and IL-10 in plasma. The results indicated that dietary beta-glucan enhanced pig antibody response to OVA only in the first week after injection. In vitro, the increases of IL-6 and TNF-alpha in culture medium were partially dampened in pigs supplemented with beta-glucan when their lymphocytes were incubated with LPS, whereas the increase of IL-10 was potentiated. In vivo, dietary beta-glucan attenuated the increase of plasma IL-6 and TNF-alpha, and enhanced the increase of plasma IL-10 when pigs were challenged with LPS. These results demonstrate that beta-glucan can improve the humoral immunity of pigs and modulate cellular immunity of pigs by mitigating the elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and enhancing the increase of anti-inflammatory cytokines after an immunological challenge.[1]


  1. Effects of beta-glucan extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae on humoral and cellular immunity in weaned piglets. Li, J., Xing, J., Li, D., Wang, X., Zhao, L., Lv, S., Huang, D. Archives of animal nutrition. (2005) [Pubmed]
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