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Influence of palm oil on immune responses and susceptibility to infection in a mouse model

Chandra, Ranjit Kumar
Nutrition research 1996 v.16 no.1 pp. 61-68
Listeria monocytogenes, T-lymphocytes, animal models, animals, cell membranes, dietary fat, energy, immune response, immunocompetence, immunomodulators, leukotrienes, mortality, natural killer cells, nutrient intake, nutrients, palm oils, phytohemagglutinin, prostaglandins, soybean oil
The immune system is a complex network of interacting processes. Nutrient intake is a critical determinant of immunocompetence. Among other nutrients, dietary fat is a major modulator of immune function since it influences metabolic activity and alters cell membrane composition thereby affecting its fluidity and response to extracellular signals. In addition, dietary fat influences the synthesis of several lipid derived mediators such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. We have evaluated the influence of palm oil as the principal source of fat energy on a variety of immune responses and the outcome of challenge with Listeria monocytogenes in a mouse model. There was no significant difference in the number of T lymphocytes, helper:suppressor cell ratio, natural killer cell activity, and lymphocyte response to phytohemagglutinin in animals fed on a diet containing palm oil and those fed on soy bean oil. However, palm oil fed animals had a significantly lower mortality 7 days after challenge with Listeria. These findings may have considerable practical application.