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Cell Immunol. 2003 Jan;221(1):1-5.

Immunopotentiation of intraepithelial lymphocytes in the intestine by oral administrations of beta-glucan.

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Department of Immunology, Niigata University School of Medicine, Japan.


Mice were orally administered with beta-glucan, isolated from baker's yeast, daily for one week (25mg/day/mouse) and several immunoparameters in the digestive tract were examined. The most prominent change was an increase in the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) in the intestine, although the number of lymphocytes in the liver remained unchanged. The absolute number of both alphabetaT cells and gammadeltaT cells expressing CD8 antigens increased among IEL in the intestine. Primarily, liver lymphocytes showed a spontaneous production of Type 0 cytokine (simultaneous production of IFNgamma and IL-4) while IEL did not produce any cytokines without stimulation. However, mice administered with beta-glucan produced Type 1 cytokine, namely, production of IFNgamma alone. These results suggest that beta-glucan may be an important potentiator for mucosal immunity in the digestive tract.

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