Dietary food additive monosodium glutamate with or without high-lipid diet induces spleen anomaly: A mechanistic approach on rat model

Open Life Sci. 2022 Jan 29;17(1):22-31. doi: 10.1515/biol-2022-0004. eCollection 2022.


Globally, the trend of using food additives and eating ready-made fast food has led to a deleterious impact on immune organs. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), as a food additive in a high-lipid diet (HLD), acts as a silent killer of immune cells. Hence, the present study aimed to evaluate the role of MSG in HLD on spleen injury in rats. Results showed that a 2.52-fold and 1.91-fold increase in spleen index in MSG and MSG + HLD group indicates splenomegaly, whereas a 1.36-fold and 1.29-fold increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines in MSG and MSG + HLD-fed rats, respectively, promote the inflammatory response. Additionally, MSG and MSG + HLD induce oxidative stress by 1.81-fold and 1.1-fold increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in macrophage population, and 1.38-fold and 1.36-fold increased generation of ROS in lymphocytes population, respectively. Furthermore, mitochondrial membrane potential was significantly reduced by 1.43-fold and 1.18-fold in MSG and MSG + HLD groups. Therefore, the current study argues that MSG has more detrimental effects on the spleen than MSG + HLD due to the presence of antioxidants in HLD, which suppresses the deleterious impact of MSG. Hence, it can be inferred that MSG induces spleen injury via targeting redox-guided cellular signaling with inflammatory response, leading to severe immune system anomalies.

Keywords: food additives; high-lipid diet; monosodium glutamate; oxidative stress; spleen.