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Lycopene alleviates AFB₁-induced immunosuppression by inhibiting oxidative stress and apoptosis in the spleen of mice

Xu, Feibo, Wang, Peiyan, Yao, Qiucheng, Shao, Bing, Yu, Hongyan, Yu, Kaiyuan, Li, Yanfei
Food & function 2019 v.10 no.7 pp. 3868-3879
T-lymphocytes, aflatoxin B1, antioxidant activity, antioxidant enzymes, apoptosis, blood serum, caspase-3, enzyme activity, gene expression, hydrogen peroxide, immunosuppression, interferon-gamma, interleukin-2, intragastric administration, lycopene, males, malondialdehyde, membrane potential, messenger RNA, mice, mitochondria, mitochondrial membrane, oxidative stress, protein synthesis, spleen, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Lycopene (LYC) has been reported to exhibit antioxidant and immunoprotective activities, and our previous studies confirmed that LYC can alleviate multiple tissue damage induced by aflatoxin B1 (AFB₁). However, it is unclear whether LYC could relieve the AFB₁-induced immunosuppression. Thus, forty-eight male mice were randomly allocated and treated with LYC (5 mg kg⁻¹) and/or AFB₁ (0.75 mg kg⁻¹) by intragastric administration for 30 days. We found that LYC alleviated AFB₁-induced immunosuppression by relieving splenic structure injury and increasing the spleen weight, spleen coefficient, T lymphocyte subsets, the contents of IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α in serum, as well as the mRNA expression of IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α in spleen. Furthermore, LYC inhibited oxidative stress induced by AFB₁via decreasing the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) and malondialdehyde (MDA), while enhancing the total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) and antioxidant enzyme activities. In addition, LYC also restrained splenic apoptosis through blocking mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in AFB₁ intoxicated mice, presenting as the increase of mitochondrial membrane potential, and the decrease of cytoplasmic Cyt-c protein expression, cleaved Caspase-3 protein expression, Caspase-3/9 activities and mRNA expressions, as well as balancing the mitochondrial protein and mRNA expressions of Bax and Bcl-2. These results indicate that LYC can alleviate AFB₁-induced immunosuppression by inhibiting oxidative stress and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis of mice spleen.