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Transgenic Res. 2011 Dec;20(6):1235-43. doi: 10.1007/s11248-011-9489-7. Epub 2011 Feb 11.

Lysozyme transgenic goats' milk positively impacts intestinal cytokine expression and morphology.

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Department of Animal Science, University of California, Meyer Hall, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


In addition to its well-recognized antimicrobial properties, lysozyme can also modulate the inflammatory response. This ability may be particularly important in the gastrointestinal tract where inappropriate inflammatory reactions can damage the intestinal epithelium, leading to significant health problems. The consumption of milk from transgenic goats producing human lysozyme (hLZ) in their milk therefore has the potential to positively impact intestinal health. In order to investigate the effect of hLZ-containing milk on the inflammatory response, young pigs were fed pasteurized milk from hLZ or non-transgenic control goats and quantitative real-time PCR was performed to assess local expression of TNF-α, IL-8, and TGF-β1 in the small intestine. Histological changes were also investigated, specifically looking at villi width, length, crypt depth, and lamina propria thickness along with cell counts for intraepithelial lymphocytes and goblet cells. Significantly higher expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-β1 was seen in the ileum of pigs fed pasteurized milk containing hLZ (P = 0.0478), along with an increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes (P = 0.0255), and decrease in lamina propria thickness in the duodenum (P = 0.0001). Based on these results we conclude that consuming pasteurized milk containing hLZ does not induce an inflammatory response and improves the health of the small intestine in pigs.

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