The aim of this study was to determine the immune response after preventive administration of flax-seed oil (rich in n-3 PUFAs) or probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum - Biocenol™ LP96 or their combination in the jejunum of ETEC-challenged gnotobiotic pigs. Subsequently, gene expression of selected cytokines, phagocytic activity of leukocytes from peripheral blood and percentage of CD2(+), CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD4(+)CD25(+) lymphocytes in jejunal mucosa were evaluated. Our results showed that combined treatment down-regulates IL-1α and IL-8 gene expression, up-regulates IFN-γ and tends to regulate inflammation induced by ETEC through cytokine IL-10. In general, changes in cytokine gene expression correlated with the proportions of immune cells isolated from the same part of the jejunal mucosa. Results indicate that probiotic L. plantarum in combination with flax-seed oil rich in n-3 PUFAs has anti-inflammatory properties, stimulates Th1-mediated cell immunity and phagocytosis, and tends to regulate the inflammatory response induced by ETEC.
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