The immunomodulatory and epithelial barrier effects of cellulose as a dietary fibre were studied to analyse the potential for use in health promoting functional foods. Reporter assays demonstrated cellulose-mediated activation through TLR/MyD88 dependent-, and independent pathways. Microchip analysis of human PBMCs showed that cellulose induced upregulation of three NF-κB related genes, i.e. CD40 molecule, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1). Five upregulated genes related specifically to TLR signalling were identified, i.e. interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1), jun proto-oncogene, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 3 (MAP2K3), and mitogen-activated protein kinase 13 (MAPK13). Cellulose did not affect T84 intestinal epithelial cell resistance. Cellulose does not directly affect T84 cell barrier function. However, it alters gene expression in human immune cells and activates TLR and non-TLR related pattern recognition pathways, indicating the immunomodulatory potential of cellulose as major component of root pulp byproduct.
- Dietary fibre