Modulation of humoral and cell-mediated immune responses by dietary lutein in cats.


Kim HW, Chew BP, Wong TS, Park JS, Weng BB, Byrne KM, Hayek MG, Reinhart GA.




Vet Immunol Immunopathol


The immuno-modulatory role of dietary lutein in domestic cats is unknown. Female Tabby cats (10-month old; n=56) were supplemented daily for 12 weeks with 0, 1, 5 or 10mg lutein. Blood was collected on Weeks 0, 2, 4, 8 and 12 to assess the following: (1) mitogen-induced peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) proliferation, (2) changes in PBMC subpopulations, (3) interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and (4) plasma immunoglobulin (Ig)G production. In addition, delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to concanavalin A (Con A) or a polyvalent vaccine was performed on Weeks 0, 6 and 12. Dietary lutein increased plasma lutein concentrations in a dose-dependent manner (p<0.001) and concentrations had not reached steady state after 12 weeks of feeding in cats given 5 or 10mg lutein. Concentrations of plasma retinol and alpha-tocopherol were not influenced by diet. The DTH response to vaccine but not to Con A increased (p<0.05) in a dose-dependent manner on Week 6. Compared to control, cats fed lutein also showed enhanced Con A- and pokeweed mitogen-stimulated PBMCs proliferation. Dietary lutein also increased the percentages of CD4+ and CD21+ lymphocytes on Week 12 but had no significant effect on pan T, CD8 and MHC class II markers. Plasma IgG was higher (p<0.05) in cats fed 10mg lutein on Weeks 8 and 12. These results support the immuno-modulatory action of lutein in domestic cats.