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Open AccessArticle

Leptin and EGF Supplementation Enhance the Immune System Maturation in Preterm Suckling Rats

1
Physiology Section, Department of Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Science, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2
Nutrition and Food Safety Research Institute (INSA·UB), 08921 Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2380; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102380
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 15 September 2019 / Published: 6 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunomodulation and Nutrition)
In preterm newborns the immaturity of the immune system is remarkable, with reduced innate and adaptive immune responses. Many bioactive compounds in breast milk, such as growth factors and adipokines, contribute to the immune system’s maturation in early life. However, studies on the immunoregulatory activity in preterm neonates are practically nonexistent. The aim of the present study was to determine whether a nutritional supplementation in early life with leptin or epidermal growth factor (EGF) was able to promote the maturation of the systemic and intestinal immune system in preterm conditions. For this purpose, premature rats were daily supplemented by oral gavage with leptin or EGF. Term and Preterm groups receiving vehicle were used as controls. Preterm rats showed deficiencies compared to full-term ones, such as lower body weights, erythrocyte counts, plasma IgG and IgM concentrations and B cell percentages, and higher values of Th and Tc TCRαβ+ cells in mesenteric lymph nodes, and intestinal permeability, among others. However, leptin and EGF supplementation were able to revert some of these deficiencies and to improve the premature immune system’s development. These results suggest that leptin and EGF are involved in enhancing the maturation of the systemic and intestinal immune system in preterm conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: prematurity; suckling rat; leptin; EGF; adaptive immunity; innate immunity; breast milk prematurity; suckling rat; leptin; EGF; adaptive immunity; innate immunity; breast milk
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Grases-Pintó, B.; Torres-Castro, P.; Marín-Morote, L.; Abril-Gil, M.; Castell, M.; Rodríguez-Lagunas, M.J.; Pérez-Cano, F.J.; Franch, À. Leptin and EGF Supplementation Enhance the Immune System Maturation in Preterm Suckling Rats. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2380.

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