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Degree of Polymerization of Inulin-Type Fructans Differentially Affects Number of Lactic Acid Bacteria, Intestinal Immune Functions, and Immunoglobulin A Secretion in the Rat Cecum

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journal contribution
posted on 25.05.2011, 00:00 by Hiroyuki Ito, Naoki Takemura, Kei Sonoyama, Hirokazu Kawagishi, David L. Topping, Michael A. Conlon, Tatsuya Morita
This study examined the role of degree of polymerization (DP) of inulin-fructans in modulating the interaction between lactic acid bacteria and IgA cecal secretion. Rats were fed a control diet or a diet containing one of the fructans with different DP. Consuming fructans increased the cecal IgA concentrations in the order DP4 > DP8 > DP16. Cecal lactobacilli counts were higher in DP4, DP8, and DP16, whereas bifidobacteria were higher in DP8, DP16, and DP23. Cecal IgA concentrations were correlated with cecal lactobacilli counts (P < 0.01). DP4, DP8, and DP16, but not DP23, significantly increased IgA-producing plasma cells in the cecal mucosa. IFN-γ and IL-10 production in the cecal CD4+ T cells was enhanced solely in DP4. The results show that fructans with lower DP enhance cecal IgA secretion and increase the plasma cells and suggest that the increased lactobacilli may contribute to the stimulation of cecal IgA secretion.