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Feeding a Mixture of Choline Forms to Lactating Dams Improves the Development of the Immune System in Sprague-Dawley Rat Offspring

Richard, Caroline, Lewis, Erin D., Goruk, Susan, Wadge, Emily, Curtis, Jonathan M., Jacobs, René L., Field, Catherine J.
Nutrients 2017 v.9 no.6
T-lymphocytes, cell structures, choline, concanavalin A, dendritic cells, diet, females, humans, immune response, inflammation, interferon-gamma, interleukin-10, laboratory animals, lactation, lipopolysaccharides, macrophages, phosphatidylcholines, progeny, pups, rats, splenocytes, suckling, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, weaning
Dietary choline is essential during lactation, but few studies have examined the implications of feeding a mixture of choline forms on immune function. This study investigates the impact of feeding lactating dams different mixtures of choline forms, similar to those in human diets, on the development and later immune function of suckled offspring. Sprague-Dawley lactating dams (n = 6/diet) were randomized to consume one of three diets, containing 1 g/kg choline: Control (100% free choline (FC)), Mixed Choline (MC: 50% phosphatidylcholine (PC), 25% FC, 25% glycerophosphocholine (GPC)), or High GPC (HGPC: 75% GPC, 12.5% PC, 12.5% FC). At weaning, female pups (n = 2/dam) were fed the Control diet until 10 weeks. At 3 weeks, MC and HGPC pups were heavier and their splenocytes had a higher proportion of helper T cells expressing CD25 and CD28 and produced less interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and tumor-necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) after Concanavalin A stimulation vs. Control pups (p < 0.05). At 10 weeks, MC and HGPC offspring had a lower proportion of macrophages and dendritic cells and produced less interleukin (IL)-1β but more IL-10 after lipopolysaccharide stimulation vs. Control pups (p < 0.05). In summary, feeding mixed choline diets during lactation improved T cell phenotype/function at the end of suckling and programmed a less inflammatory response later in life.