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Am J Physiol. 1997 Aug;273(2 Pt 2):R548-53.

Systemic immune changes following meal intake in humans.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of L├╝beck, Germany.

Abstract

Food intake represents a high intestinal antigen exposition requiring host defense. Besides local immune activation, this defense includes a coordinate systemic immune response, which may serve to support local immunity. This study examined influences of a standardized high-protein meal on peripheral blood mononuclear cell counts; on the in vitro mitogen-stimulated production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and interferon-gamma; on the in vivo plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6; and on plasma concentrations of cortisol and growth hormone. Ten healthy men (18-35 yr) participated in two experimental sessions in a balanced order. On one occasion, subjects fasted; on the other, they received a high-protein meal at 1230. Blood was sampled every 15 min. Whereas the numbers of neutrophils and platelets were increased for more than 2.5 h after meal intake (P < 0.01) lymphocyte counts decreased (P < 0.01). Meal intake also decreased the production of interferon-gamma but did not affect the production and plasma levels of the other cytokines. Changes in immune cell distribution and function were accompanied by a strong postprandial rise in plasma cortisol concentrations. Some of the systemic immune changes, like the emigration of lymphocytes, probably into extravascular abdominal tissues, may serve to support local immune defense.

PMID:
9277537
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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