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Br J Nutr. 2004 Dec;92(6):931-8.

Intestinal immunity of rats with colon cancer is modulated by oligofructose-enriched inulin combined with Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis.

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Institute of Nutritional Physiology, Federal Research Centre for Nutrition and Food, Haid-und-Neu-Str. 9, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany.


Probiotics (PRO) are known to modulate immunity in animals and human subjects and to inhibit colon carcinogenesis in experimental models, but the effects of synbiotics (SYN) are not well understood. Therefore, the effects of PRO (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12), PRE (inulin-based enriched with oligofructose, 100 g/kg) and SYN (combination of PRO and PRE) on the immune system of rats were investigated in the azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon cancer model. After 33 weeks, rats with and without AOM treatment were killed and immune cells were isolated from spleen, mesenterial lymph nodes (MLN) and Peyer's patches (PP). AOM treatment significantly reduced natural killer (NK) cell-like cytotoxicity in control rats and in PRO- and PRE-supplemented rats. SYN supplementation prevented the AOM-induced suppression of NK cell-like cytotoxicity in PP compared with control rats (P<0.01). SYN and PRE supplementation stimulated IL-10 production in PP in these rats (P<0.01) and in MLN of rats not treated with AOM (P<0.05). Interferon-gamma production in PP was decreased by PRO supplementation (PRO and SYN groups combined; P<0.05). Proliferative responsiveness of lymphocytes (PP) from AOM-treated rats was suppressed in SYN-supplemented rats (P<0.01). Overall, SYN supplementation in carcinogen-treated rats primarily modulated immune functions in the PP, coinciding with a reduced number of colon tumours. PRE and PRO provided in combination as SYN may contribute to the suppression of colon carcinogenesis by modulating the gut-associated lymphoid tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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