The effect of amaranth oil on autoantibodies in lupus prone mice
Background: Autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, can have severe impacts on quality of life. They are one of the leading causes of death for women in the United States. Distinguished by the body damaging its own tissues and organs, they are often classified and diagnosed based on autoantibody levels. Treatments often include immunosuppressant drugs, which can have adverse effects.
Aim of Study: Amaranth is a good functional food candidate, possessing antioxidants, bioactive compounds, and a variety of health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, and aiding diabetes and hypertension. Previous studies have largely focused on the grain or seed, but amaranth oil is less explored. This study examines whether orally administered amaranth oil had any effects on autoantibodies and splenic immune cell populations in murine subjects.
Methods: Mice in the experimental group (n = 3) were given 4μl of amaranth oil per gram of mouse weight for 5 days a week over 84 days. Control mice (n = 2) were sham treated on the same schedule with no oil. To determine autoantibody levels, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were first conducted on wells pre-coated with double stranded DNA, single stranded DNA, histones, or double stranded DNA and then histones (nucleosomes). Autoantibody presence was quantified by measuring absorbance at 405nm. Splenic cell populations were examined with flow cytometry and compared using a student’s t-test.
Results: Compared to the control group, the mice receiving amaranth oil showed decreased IgG and IgM histone autoantibody absorbance levels throughout the whole study. IgG dsDNA, ssDNA, and nucleosome autoantibody absorbances were lower than that of the control group for the first 42 days. IgM dsDNA, ssDNA, and nucleosome autoantibody absorbances were lower only for the first 14 days. There were no significant differences found amongst splenic immune cell populations between the control and experimental groups.
Conclusion: These preliminary data show that amaranth oil may help decrease autoantibody levels in lupus prone murine subjects. However, given the small number of subjects in this study, further research is needed to confirm observed effects and determine the most effective dose and administration schedule.
Keywords: autoantibody, IgG, IgM, histone, dsDNA, ssDNA, nucleosome, amaranth oil, immunoglobulin, lupus
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