Dietary (1,3/1,6)-β-d-glucan decreases transforming growth factor β expression in the lung of the neonatal piglet

Shannon C. Thorum, Shelly N. Hester, Sarah S. Comstock, Marcia H. Monaco, Brandt D. Pence, Jeffrey A. Woods, Sharon M. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identification and characterization of compounds that enhance the growth, development, and health of infants who are not breastfed continues to be a goal for nutritional science. This study explored the effects of one dietary component, (1,3/1,6)-. β-. d-glucan (Wellmune WGP), on lung immune development in the neonatal piglet. The hypothesis was that supplementation with WGP, a pathogen-associated molecular pattern, would enhance pathogen-responsive elements of the immune system, for instance, by increasing the size of the cytotoxic T-cell population or the expression of inflammatory cytokines. Piglets were fed a control formula or formula plus WGP at 1.8, 18, or 90 mg/kg body weight per day. Serum, thoracic lymph nodes (TLNs), mediastinal lymph nodes, and lung were collected at days 7 or 21. Immune parameters including tissue messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and T-cell phenotypes were analyzed. Normal developmental changes were observed, with a decrease in T-helper cells and an increase in cytotoxic T cells in both TLN and mediastinal lymph node, but there was no effect of WGP. Dietary WGP reduced the mRNA expression of transforming growth factor (TGF) β2 and tended to reduce the mRNA expression of TGF-. β1 in lung tissue. With the exception of reducing TGF-. β mRNA in the lung and tending to decrease the ratio of T helper to cytotoxic T cell in the TLN, dietary WGP did not affect lung-associated adaptive immunity in piglets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-331
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • BSA
  • BW
  • ConA
  • HRP
  • Immune system
  • LPS
  • Lung
  • MRNA
  • MSLN
  • Newborn
  • PRR(s)
  • Postnatal development
  • Swine
  • TGF-β
  • TLN
  • WGP
  • β-Glucans
  • βG(s)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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