Oat β-Glucans were studied for their immunological impact before and after enzymatic digestion in order to enhance the efficacy of oat β-Glucans for application in functional foods. Oat β-Glucan is reported to have minimal impact compared to its fungal counterpart in vitro. Digestion with endo-glucanase enhanced its efficacy towards stimulating MCP-1, RANTES, IL-8, and IL-4 production in human dendritic cells as compared to the nondigested β-Glucan. This effect resulted from an enhanced activation of the Dectin-1 receptor. Our data suggest that the immune-stimulation was dependent on the β-(1-3) linkages and the reduced particle size of digested β-Glucans. Thus, we show that enzymatic pre-digestion of dietary fibres such as oat β-Glucan enhances its impact on specific immune receptors.We also demonstrate that particle size and/or molecular weight of oat β-Glucans and exposure of specific binding sites for the receptors might be important tools for designing efficacious functional feed and food additives.
MCP-1, IL-8, Rantes, IL-4, Dectin-1 receptor, immune receptors, TNF-a, IL-23, endo-glucanse digestion
b-glucan, dietary fibers