Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2753

Full Length Research Paper

Alteration of lymphocyte subpopulations in mice fed lutein from marigold extract

Porkaew Promphet
  • Porkaew Promphet
  • Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000 Thailand.
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Sirirat Bunarsa
  • Sirirat Bunarsa
  • Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000 Thailand.
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Manote Sutheerawattananonda
  • Manote Sutheerawattananonda
  • School of Food Technology, Institute of Agricultural Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000 Thailand.
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Anupan Kongbangkerd
  • Anupan Kongbangkerd
  • Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000 Thailand.
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Duangkamol Kunthalert
  • Duangkamol Kunthalert
  • Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medical Science, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000 Thailand.
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  •  Accepted: 26 October 2012
  •  Published: 31 January 2013

Abstract

Lutein, a member of the xanthophyll carotenoids, has a wide variety of health benefits. These include prevention of age-related macular degeneration or cataracts and protection of ultraviolet -induced skin damage. Lutein also possesses anti-tumor and immune modulatory activities in BALB/c mice.  However, in such animal model, the effects of lutein on lymphocyte subpopulations have not yet been assessed and were therefore determined in this study. Female BALB/c mice were fed orally with lutein from marigold extract (10 and 20 mg/kg body weight daily) or vehicle for 4 weeks. Total white blood cell counts and splenic lymphocyte subpopulations were examined on weeks 2 and 4.  Lutein from marigold extract did not significantly influence the total numbers of white blood cells during the experimental period. Mice fed marigold lutein had comparable numbers of CD21/35+ (mature B), CD3+ (total T) and CD4+ (T helper) lymphocytes to controls as seen throughout a 4-week period.  However, the percentage of CD8+ (T cytotoxic) cells were significantly elevated (p < 0.05) in mice fed marigold lutein 20 mg/kg (week 4) compared to the controls. Together, our results demonstrated that lutein from marigold extract influenced the population of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in BALB/c mice. This finding suggests the enhancement of cell-mediated immunity and may support, partly, anti-tumor activity of such lutein.

 

Key words: Lutein, marigold, lymphocyte subpopulation.