Effects of dietary protein type on oxidized cholesterol-induced alteration in age-related modulation of lipid metabolism and indices of immune function in rats

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Jan 3;1483(1):141-53. doi: 10.1016/s1388-1981(99)00169-9.


Exogenous oxidized cholesterol disturbs both lipid metabolism and immune functions. Therefore, it may perturb these modulations with ageing. Effects of the dietary protein type on oxidized cholesterol-induced modulations of age-related changes in lipid metabolism and immune function was examined using differently aged (4 weeks versus 8 months) male Sprague-Dawley rats when casein, soybean protein or milk whey protein isolate (WPI) was the dietary protein source, respectively. The rats were given one of the three proteins in diet containing 0.2% oxidized cholesterols mixture. Soybean protein, as compared with the other two proteins, significantly lowered both the serum thiobarbituric acid reactive substances value and cholesterol, whereas it elevated the ratio of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol/cholesterol in young rats, but not in adult. Moreover, soybean protein, but not casein and WPI, suppressed the elevation of Delta6 desaturation indices of phospholipids in both liver and spleen, particularly in young. On the other hand, WPI, compared to the other two proteins, inhibited the leukotriene B4 production of spleen, irrespective of age. Soybean protein reduced the ratio of CD4(+)/CD8(+) T-cells in splenic lymphocytes. Therefore, the levels of immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgE and IgG in serum were lowered in rats given soybean protein in both age groups except for IgA in adult, although these observations were not shown in rats given other proteins. Thus, various perturbations of lipid metabolism and immune function caused by oxidized cholesterol were modified depending on the type of dietary protein. The moderation by soybean protein on the change of lipid metabolism seems to be susceptible in young rats whose homeostatic ability is immature. These observations may be exerted through both the promotion of oxidized cholesterol excretion to feces and the change of hormonal release, while WPI may suppress the disturbance of immune function by oxidized cholesterol in both ages. This alleviation may be associated with a large amount of lactoglobulin in WPI. These results thus showed a possibility that oxidized cholesterol-induced perturbations of age-related changes of lipid metabolism and immune function can be moderated by both the selection and combination of dietary protein.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Immune System / drug effects*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis


  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Eicosanoids
  • Fatty Acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Cholesterol