Effect of subchronic feeding of genetically modified corn (CBH351) on immune system in BN rats and B10A mice

Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2002 Oct;43(5):273-9. doi: 10.3358/shokueishi.43.273.


Subchronic animal feeding studies to examine the effect on the immune system of genetically modified corn CBH351, which contains the Cry9C protein derived from Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies tolworthi, were conducted in female BN rats and B10A mice. The studies were designed to compare the effect of a line of genetically modified corn CBH351 (GM corn) with that of isoline corn (non-GM corn). Heat-treated corn meal was incorporated into the diets of the rats and mice at a concentration of 50%. The study duration was 13 weeks. Growth, food intake, and organ weights of the thymus, spleen, and liver were compared between animals fed the non-GM and GM lines. The histological findings in thymus, spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, Peyer's patches, small intestines, liver, kidney, and bone marrow, and the presence of Cry9C-specific IgE, IgG, IgG1 and IgA antibodies in serum were also compared. The results showed no significant differences in growth, feeding value, or the histological findings in immunity-related organs between the animals fed the GM and non-GM lines. Production of Cry9 C-specific IgE and IgA was not detected in the serum of either group. Production of Cry9C-specific IgG and IgG1 was slightly increased in the 50% GM groups of BN rats. No Cry9C-specific IgG or IgG1 was detected in the serum of BN rats fed the diet containing 5% GM-corn In conclusion, no immunotoxic activity was detected in the GM-corn-fed rats and mice in this subchronic dietary study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Bacterial Toxins*
  • Endotoxins / immunology
  • Female
  • Food, Genetically Modified / adverse effects*
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Lymphatic System / anatomy & histology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Organ Size
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Zea mays / adverse effects*


  • Antibodies
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Endotoxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis