Dewaxed Brown Rice Contains a Significant Amount of Lipopolysaccharide Pointing to Macrophage Activation via TLRs

Anticancer Res. 2016 Jul;36(7):3599-605.


Background/aim: Oral ingestion of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has been shown to be effective in diseases' prevention. Brown rice contains large amounts of LPS not actively consumed because of bad taste. Recently, a new type of brown rice with its wax layer removed has been produced. In this report, we measured the LPS content of this dewaxed rice and evaluated the function of innate immune activation on macrophages.

Materials and methods: Dewaxed brown rice and polished rice were prepared using the Saika-style rice polishing process. LPS content extracted using hot water from this sample was evaluated by the Limulus reaction and the activation of macrophage RAW246.7 cells was evaluated by nitric oxide (NO) production. In addition, toll-like receptors (TLRs) 2-, 4- and 9-induced human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells were used for the confirmation of the activated pathway.

Results: Mean LPS content in the 15 types of dewaxed brown rice was found to be 6.4±2.6 μg/g, while that of brown rice was 10.9±4.3 μg/g. The extract of dewaxed brown rice induced significant amounts of NO by RAW246.7 cells, while production was reduced to 1/6 by adding polymyxin B. The macrophage activating effect of dewaxed brown rice was 79- and 51-times higher than that of polished rice in TLR4- and 2-induced HEK 293 cells.

Conclusion: LPS content in dewaxed brown rice was found to be able to activate macrophages. This rice activated macrophages mainly via the TLR4 and, to a lesser extent, TLR2 pathways. It is suggested that dewaxed brown rice can be considered effective in allergy and cancer prevention.

Keywords: Brown rice; innate immunity; lipopolysaccharide; macrophages.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • Cisplatin
  • Ifosfamide
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mitomycin
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oryza / chemistry*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism*
  • Waxes / chemistry


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Waxes
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Mitomycin
  • Cisplatin
  • Ifosfamide

Supplementary concepts

  • MIP protocol