Oral administration of bovine colostrum stimulates intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes to polarize Th1-type in mice

Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Mar;5(3):581-90. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2004.11.005.


Th1 stimulus for Th2-skewed immune response during infancy is important for reduction of incidence of allergic diseases. We examined effects of oral administration of bovine colostrum on local immunity in intestine in adult mice. C57BL/6 mice were orally given bovine colostrum or control milk for 1, 3 or 6 months and intestinal microflora, fecal IgA, and lymphocyte population of gut-associated lymphoid tissues and their abilities of cytokine production were examined. Although the cell populations of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (i-IEL) were not remarkably changed, the T cells in i-IEL were polarized to Th1 type after oral administration of bovine colostrum. Intestinal microflora and IgA levels in feces were not changed by oral administration of bovine colostrum. These results suggest that colostrum stimulates directly to i-IEL to polarize Th1 type, which may protect from infectious diseases and allergic diseases mediated by Th2 type responses.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pregnancy
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin A