Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


Vazquez, E.1; Gil, A.2; Rueda, R.1

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: June 2004 - Volume 39 - Issue - p S39
ABSTRACTS: Oral Presentation Abstracts

1International R and D, Ross Product Division, Abbott laboratories,2Biochemistru and Molecular Biology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Submitted by:

Introduction: The content and distribution of gangliosides in human milk selectively change during lactation. Therefore, milk gangliosides may have a role in newborn development during early infancy. A potential role might be to contribute to brain and neurological development, but it has also been suggested that the intestine could be a target organ for dietary gangliosides. Our group has reported that ganglioside-supplemented infant formula modifies the intestinal ecology of preterm newborns, increasing the Bifidobacteria content and lowering that of Escherichia coli. Although the exact mechanism by which dietary gangliosides modify intestinal microflora is unknown, they might act as decoys of intestinal receptors for some strains of bacteria. In addition, the potential effect on intestinal immunity has been investigated in mice at weaning. The main goal of this work is to describe a potential mechanism of action according to the beneficial effects reported for dietary gangliosides

Methods: The luminal content of IgA was determined through ELISA and the number of intestinal IgA-secreting cells was analyzed by ELISPOT. To elucidate potential mechanisms of action, percentages of cytokine-secreting lymphocyte subsets were quantified by ELISPOT and the effects of GD3 and GM3, major gangliosides in colostrum and mature human milk respectively, on the proliferative state of resting intestinal lymphocytes was also evaluated through 3H-Thymidine uptake

Results: Dietary gangliosides increased the number of intestinal IgA-secreting cells and the luminal content of secretory IgA. In addition gangliosides determined an earlier development in the number of type 1 and type 2 cytokine-secreting cells, and a significantly higher number of them in lamina propria and Peyer’s patches. On the other hand, GD3 increased lymphocyte proliferation rates in all the intestinal lymphocyte populations, whereas GM3 stimulated the proliferation of intestinal lymphocytes excepting for those from Peyer’s patches. All these results suggest that dietary gangliosides influence the maturation process of the intestinal immune system at weaning according to the following potential mechanism of action. Gangliosides promote the secretion of some cytokines involved in the stimulation of IgA production and secretion. In addition, dietary gangliosides may have roles on the development of intestinal immunity by stimulating or inhibiting proliferative responses in intestinal lymphocytes

Conclusion: In summary, dietary gangliosides may have an important role during early infancy modifying intestinal microflora and promoting the development of intestinal immunity in the neonate

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.