Immune responses of female BALB/c and C57BL/6 neonatal mice to vaccination or intestinal infection are Unaltered by exposure to breast milk lycopene

Becky Adkins, Nikhat Contractor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lycopene, a carotenoid produced by some commonly consumed plants such as tomatoes, is not synthesized by animals. Thus, the levels of lycopene found in the breast milk of lactating females reflect the dietary lycopene supply. Lycopene has potent antioxidant activity but has also been implicated in modulating immune function. Therefore, lycopene in breast milk has the potential to affect the development and/or function of the immune system in the suckling pups. Here, we have investigated the impact of breast milk lycopene on systemic and mucosal immunity in mouse neonates. Diets containing 0.3 g/kg lycopene (Lyc) or control (Con) diets were fed to mouse dams beginning at late gestation and continuing throughout lactation. Seven-day-old female BALB/c pups were parenterally immunized with a model vaccine antigen dinitrophenyl-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (DNP-KLH) and then reimmunized as adults. The levels of DNP-KLH-specific IgG in the sera as well as keyhole limpet hemocyanin-specific IFNγ and IL-4 production by splenic CD4 + cells were similar in the Lyc and Con pups. In addition, female neonatal (d7) C57BL/6 Lyc and Con pups were infected orally with the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica. Breast milk lycopene had no effect on the recruitment of neutrophils to intestinal lymphoid tissues or on bacterial tissue colonization of the intestines, spleens, and livers. Thus, suckling pups exposed to lycopene in breast milk appear to develop normal innate and adaptive responses both systemically and at intestinal mucosal surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1326-1330
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume141
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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