J. NUTR. 115: 1403-1408, 1985

Differential Effect of Dietary Protein Type on the B-Cell and T-Cell Immune Responses in Mice

Gustavo Bounous and Patricia A.L. Kongshavn*

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada, J1H 5N4 and *Montreal General Hospital Research Institute and Department of Physiology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3G 1Y6

ABSTRACT - The effect of 20 g/100 g diet of lactalbumin (L), casein (C), soy (S) and wheat (W) protein on the immune responsiveness of C3H/HeN mice has been investigated by measuring the humoral immune response to the T cell-independent antigen, TNP-Ficoll. The humoral immune response of mice fed the L diet was found to be higher than that of mice fed the C, S and W diets. On the other hand, delayed-type hypersensitivity, and splenic cell mitogen responses to phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A did not differ among mice fed the various diets. Similarly, the type of diet did not appear to influence host resistance to Salmonella typhymurium. It is postulated that the type of protein in the diet influences directly the intrinsic capacity of the B lymphocytes to respond to an immunogenic stimulus.