Effect of beta- and alpha-glucans on immune modulating factors expression in enterocyte-like Caco-2 and goblet-like LS 174T cells.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Mar 10 ;153:600-607. Epub 2020 Mar 10. PMID: 32165203
Bruna De Felice
Glucans are complex polysaccharides consisting of repeated units of d-glucose linked by glycosidic bonds. The nutritional contribution inα-glucans is mainly given by starch and glycogen while in β-glucans by mushrooms, yeasts and whole grains, such as barley and spelt well represented in the Mediterranean Diet. Numerous and extensive studies performed on glucans highlighted their marked anti-tumor, antioxidant and immunomodulatoryactivity. It has recently been shown that rather than merely being a passive barrier, the intestinal epithelium is an essential modulator of immunity. Indeed, epithelial absorptive enterocytes and mucin secreting goblet cells can produce specific immune modulating factors, driving innate immunity topathogens as well as preventing autoimmunity. Despite the clear evidence of the effects of glucans on immune system cells, there are only limited data about their effects on immune activity of mucosal intestinal cells strictly related to intestinal barrier integrity. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of α and β glucans, alone or in combination with other substances with antioxidant properties, on reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, on the expression of ROS-generating enzyme DUOX-2 and of the immune modulating factors Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF-α), Interleukin 1 β (IL-1β)and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in two intestinal epithelial cells, the enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells and goblet cell-like LS174T. In our research, the experiments were carried out incubating the cells with glucans for 18 h in culture medium containing 0.2% FBS and measuring ROS levels fluorimetrically as dihydrodichlorofluoresce diacetate (DCF-DA) fluorescence, protein levels of DUOX-2 by Western blotting and mRNA levels of, TNF-α, IL-1β and COX-2 by qRT-PCR. α and β glucans decreased ROS levels in Caco-2 and LS 174T cells. The expression levels of COX-2, TNF-α, and IL-1β were also reduced by α- and β-glucans. Additive effects on the expression of these immune modulating factors were exerted by vitamin C. In Caco-2 cells, the dual oxidase DUOX-2 expression is positively modulated by ROS. Accordingly, in Caco-2 or LS174T cells treated with α and β-glucans alone or in combinationwith Vitamin C, the decrease of ROS levels was associated with a reduced expression of DUOX-2. The treatment of cells with the NADPH oxidase (NOX) inhibitor apocynin decrease ROS, DUOX-2, COX-2, TNF-α and IL-1β levels indicating that NOX dependent ROS regulate the expression of immune modulating factors of intestinal cells. However, the combination of vitamin C, α and β-glucans with apocynin did not exert an additive effect on COX-2, TNF-α and IL-1β levels when compared with α-, β-glucans and Vitamin C alone. The present study showing a modulatory effect of α and β-glucans on ROS andon the expression of immune modulating factors in intestinal epithelial cells suggests that the assumption of food containing high levels of these substances or dietary supplementation can contribute to normal immunomodulatory function of intestinal barrier.