Effect of honey on antibody production against thymus-dependent and thymus-independent antigens in primary and secondary immune responses

J Med Food. Winter 2004;7(4):491-4. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2004.7.491.

Abstract

The objective was to study the effect of natural pure honey on the antibody production against thymus-dependent antigen [sheep red blood cells (SRBCs)] and thymus-independent antigen (Escherichia coli) in mice. Forty-two mice (mean weight 28.33 +/- 3.44 g) were divided into two groups: group A (21 mice) fed regular diet and group B (21 mice) fed regular diet plus 0.8 g/kg of body weight/day of honey administered in four equally divided doses. Each animal was injected intraperitoneally with 0.1 mL of 5% SRBCs and 0.1 mL of killed E. coli. The same dose of both antigens was given after 17 days. At days 7 and 16 after primary immunization and at day 4 after secondary immunization, blood samples were collected from seven mice at each time interval from group A and group B to estimate antibody titer using the hemoaggulination test. At day 7 after primary immunization, the mean antibody titer against SRBCs was 9.14 +/- 3.02 in group A and 13.7 +/- 3.9 in group B (P < .05), while the mean antibody titer against E. coli was 14.8 +/- 8.5 in group A and 14.8 +/- 9.35 in group B. At day 16, the mean antibody titer against SRBCs was 13.71 +/- 3.9 in group A and 20 +/- 9.8 in group B, while the mean antibody titer against E. coli was 14.69 +/- 935 in group A and 26.67 +/- 8.26 in group B (P < .05). Four days after secondary immunization, the mean antibody titer against SRBCs was 13.33 +/- 4.62 in group A and 16 +/- 8.7 in group B, while the mean antibody titer against E. coli was 42.67 +/- 18.4 in group A and 69.33 +/- 31.4 in group B. It might be concluded that oral honey stimulates antibody production during primary and secondary immune responses against thymus-dependent and thymus-independent antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination Tests
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood*
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects*
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Antibody Formation / physiology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Escherichia coli / immunology
  • Female
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Immunization, Secondary*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Random Allocation
  • Sheep / blood
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*

Substances

  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, Bacterial