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Mol Cell Biochem. 2001 Oct;226(1-2):39-47.

Effect of dietary ghee--the anhydrous milk fat on lymphocytes in rats.

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1
Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India.

Abstract

Lymphocytes are important components of the immune system. Dietary lipids affect the functioning of the immune system. Changes in the lipid composition of the lymphocyte membrane is a case in point. Membrane structural changes are reflected in the altered function of the cell. Lymphocyte proliferation and lymphocyte rosetting are membrane associated phenomena. Ghee, is a clarified butter product, commonly used in the Indian diet. It is rich in saturated fatty acids and also contain oxysterols which are generated on prolonged heating of ghee. Male weanling rats were fed 2.5% (of the total fat levels) of fresh or thermally oxidized ghee for a period of 8 weeks. The control rats were fed groundnut oil. Lipid composition of lymphocytes in ghee fed rats showed changes. In vitro lipid peroxidation of lymphocyte membranes increased by 26% in oxidized ghee fed rats. Na+K+ ATPase activity was decreased in oxidized ghee fed rats (18%). Lymphocyte proliferation was reduced in ghee fed rats (32%), compared to the controls, irrespective of the mitogens used (Con-A or PHA), or the tissue (splenocytes or peripheral blood lymphocytes). Oxysterols present in oxidized ghee are the likely agents inhibiting lymphoproliferation. Rosetting of lymphocytes decreased in the fresh ghee fed rats by 16% and in oxidized ghee fed rats by 25%. Membrane fluidity declined in the oxidized ghee fed rats. It is concluded that feeding ghee results in decreased proliferation of lymphocytes. Also, feeding oxidised ghee results in decreased proliferation of lymphocytes through alterations in the structure of the lymphocyte membranes in the rat.

PMID:
11768237
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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