Oral administration of "immune milk", that had been obtained from cows immunized with a variety of human gut bacteria containing E. coli, S. typhimurium, S. dysenteriae and 23 others, protected AKR/J mice from the lethal effect of radiation, when immune milk was orally given to mice at 150 g kg-1 day-1 for 7 days prior to γ-irradiation of 8 Gy. Mean survival times were 24.8 days for the group given immune milk but only 16.8 days for the group given control milk from unimmunized cows. Enterobac teriaceae were detected in various organs such as liver, lung and kidney on day 13 after irradiation, whereas the numbers were significantly fewer in the study group as compared with the control group. And fewer number of intestinal Enterobacteriaceae were detected in the study group compared with the control group prior to irradiation. Immune milk also enhanced the mitogenic response of mesentric lymph node cells, the redirected cytolytic activity of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes to P815 tumor cells with anti-CD3 mAb, and in vitro killing activities of the phagocytes in mesenteric lymph nodes to E. coli as compared with control milk. These results suggest that immune milk may reduce the number of bacteria translocating from the intestinal-tract and augment the activities of the gut-associated lymphoid tissues against the invasion of intestinal bacteria, causing protection against the lethal effect of radiation.
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