Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Reaction of the intestinal immune system on diet containing fermentable carbohydrates

The impact of diet containing fermentable carbohydrates on the development of the intestinal immune system was studied in several experiments. Four to six week old piglets express in the period after their weaning mRNA for the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-2, IFN-g and IL-12p40 and the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10 in all parts of the gastrointestinal tract. In the small and large intestine cells containing IL-2-, IL-12p40-, IFN-g-, IL-4- and IL-5-mRNA transcripts were observed in the lamina propria close to the crypts. In experiments under highly controlled hygienic conditions differences in cytokine expression were observed between pigs that had received high-fibre diet and those fed conventional food. In high-fibre diet pigs a marked increase of transcripts for inflammatory and non-inflammatory cytokines were visible in the first days after weaning. This peak had disappeared around day 8 after weaning.

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