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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2008;43(11):1346-52. doi: 10.1080/00365520802245411.

Germinated barley foodstuff ameliorates inflammation in mice with colitis through modulation of mucosal immune system.

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Kirin Holdings Co., Central Laboratories for Frontier Technology, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Japan.



Germinated barley foodstuff (GBF) is a prebiotic product made from malt which contains glutamine-rich protein and hemicellulose-rich fiber. Although GBF has been observed to attenuate colonic mucosal inflammation and bowel movements in ulcerative colitis, both experimentally and clinically, the details of the immune response remain elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GBF on the colonic epithelium immune response in a CD45RB(high) T cell chronic colitis model.


Colitis was induced by transferring CD4+ CD45RB(high) T cells to severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice (control n=8, GBF n=8) and the effects of GBF on the colitis were evaluated. The evaluation included measurement of body-weight, occult blood tests, histological examination, mucosal cytokine reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis (interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)) as well as IL-6 measurements.


Seven weeks after transferring the above cells, body-weight loss and occult blood were significantly reduced in the mice that had been fed with GBF. In these mice, there were also significant reductions in IFN-gamma mRNA expressions and IL-6 in the colonic mucosa, as compared with the control group. GBF also significantly attenuated, mucosal damage and mucin positive goblet cell depletion. Conversely, TGF-beta expression significantly increased in the GBF group, compared with the control group.


In this preliminary study using an experimental model in which colitis was induced by transferring CD4+ CD45RB(high) T cells to SCID mice, GBF reduced inflammation by modulating the colonic microflora.

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