Dietary Prevention of Colitis by Aronia Berry is Mediated Through Increased Th17 and Treg

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Mar;63(5):e1800985. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201800985. Epub 2018 Dec 13.


Scope: Increased fruit consumption is associated with reduced risk of colitis. It has been investigated whether the anti-colitic effects of the polyphenol-rich aronia berry (Aronia mitschurinii 'Viking') are mediated through Th17 and Treg.

Methods and results: Colitis is induced in recombinase activating gene-1 deficient mice injected with syngeneic CD4+ CD62L+ naïve T cells. Mice consume either 4.5% w/w aronia-berry-supplemented or a control diet concurrent with T cell transfer. The extent of colitis and immunocyte populations are evaluated at weeks 3 to 7 after transfer. Aronia consumption prevents colitic wasting and reduces colon weight/length ratios relative to the control diet at weeks 5 and 7. Compared to the control diet, aronia feeding increases Treg in mesenteric lymph node at all colitis stages. Treg and regulatory Th17 subpopulations (IL-17A+ IL-10+ and IL-17A+ IL-22+ ) are increased in lamina propria and spleen at week 5 in aronia-fed mice. Aronia feeding also decreases total CD4+ cells but increases colonic Tregs. The ability of aronia to modulate colonic cytokines is associated with functional T cell IL-10 and increased diversity of microbiota.

Conclusions: Aronia berry consumption inhibits adoptive transfer colitis by increasing Treg and regulatory Th17 cells. Dietary modulation of T cells is dynamic and precedes colitic wasting.

Keywords: Th17; adoptive transfer colitis; aronia berry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Colitis / diet therapy*
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / prevention & control
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Photinia*
  • Spleen / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory* / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells*


  • Cytokines
  • IL10 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-10