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Feeding a Mixture of Choline Forms during Lactation Improves Offspring Growth and Maternal Lymphocyte Response to Ex Vivo Immune Challenges

Lewis, Erin D., Richard, Caroline, Goruk, Susan, Wadge, Emily, Curtis, Jonathan M., Jacobs, René L., Field, Catherine J.
Nutrients 2017 v.9 no.7
B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, body weight, choline, concanavalin A, cytotoxicity, dendritic cells, diet, immune response, interferon-gamma, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-2, interleukin-6, laboratory animals, lactation, lipopolysaccharides, phenotype, phosphatidylcholines, progeny, pups, rats, spleen, splenocytes
Study objectives were to examine the impact of feeding a mixture of choline forms, or a diet high in glycerophosphocholine (GPC) on maternal immune function and offspring growth during lactation. Lactating Sprague-Dawley rat dams (n = 6/diet) were randomized to one of three diets, providing 1 g/kg total choline: Control (100% free choline (FC)), Mixed Choline (MC; 50% phosphatidylcholine (PC), 25% FC, 25% GPC), or High GPC (HGPC; 75% GPC, 12.5% PC, 12.5% FC). At 3 weeks, cell phenotypes and cytokine production with Concanavalin A (ConA)-or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated splenocytes and mesenteric lymphocytes were measured. Feeding MC or HGPC diets improved pups’ growth compared to Control (+22% body weight, p < 0.05). In spleen, MC-and HGPC-fed dams had higher proportions of cytotoxic (CD8+) T cells expressing CD27, CD71 and CD127, total B cells (CD45RA+) and dendritic cells (OX6+OX62+), and produced less IL-6 and IFN-γ after ConA than Control-fed dams (p < 0.05). MC and HGPC LPS-stimulated splenocytes produced less IL-1β and IL-6 than Control. ConA-stimulated mesenteric lymphocytes from MC and HGPC dams produced more IL-2 and IFN-γ than Control (p < 0.05). In summary, feeding a mixture of choline forms during lactation improved offspring growth and resulted in a more efficient maternal immune response following mitogenic immune challenge.