Objective: An overzealous inflammatory response is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in surgical, trauma, and critically ill patients. Enteral administration of lipid-rich nutrition was previously shown to attenuate inflammation and reduce organ damage via a cholecystokinin-1 receptor–mediated vagovagal reflex in animal studies. The current preclinical study investigates the immunomodulatory potential of a custom-made enteral nutrition during systemic inflammation in man.
Design: Double-blind, randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Intensive care research unit.
Subjects: Male volunteers.
Interventions: After an overnight fast, 18 healthy male subjects received an IV bolus of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (2 ng/kg). Subjects in the fasted group (n = 6) were deprived of food throughout the study, while subjects in the intervention groups were fed either custom-made lipid- and protein-rich nutrition (n = 6) or isocaloric control nutrition (n = 6) via nasojejunal tube, starting 1 hour prior to lipopolysaccharide administration until 6 hours afterward.
Measurements and Main Results: Bolus lipopolysaccharide administration resulted in a marked inflammatory response. Continuous postpyloric administration of nutrition significantly increased plasma cholecystokinin levels throughout the lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response. Lipid- and protein-rich nutrition attenuated circulating levels of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 and the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist compared with control nutrition (all p < 0.05) and fasted subjects (all p < 0.05). In additional, lipid- and protein-rich nutrition augmented the anti-inflammatory response, reflected by increased plasma levels of interleukin-10 compared with fasted subjects (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: The current preclinical study expands the immunomodulating effects of enteral nutrition as previously observed in rodents to man. Continuous administration of enteral nutrition resulted in a rapid anti-inflammatory effect. Furthermore, enrichment of the nutritional composition with lipid and protein was shown to enhance the anti-inflammatory potential. Therefore, continuous enteral administration of lipid- and protein-rich nutrition is a promising intervention to modulate the immune response in the early course of systemic inflammation in man.