Flavan-3-ols are a class of flavonoids that are widely distributed in fruits and beverages including red wine and apples. Consumption of flavanoid-rich food has been shown to exhibit anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating effects. To test the nutritional effects of flavanols on mRNA gene-expression of inflammatory and apoptotic marker genes, piglets were given two flavanoids-rich feeding regimens: a low flavanoid standard diet (SD) was compared with diets enriched with 3·5% apple pomace (APD) or 3·5% red-wine pomace (RWPD). The influence on mRNA expression levels was investigated in different immunological active tissues and in the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT). The investigation took place from 1 week prior weaning to 19 days post weaning in 78 piglets. The expression of expressed marker genes was determinate by one-step quantitative real-time (qRT-PCR): TNFα, NFκB as pro-inflammatory; IL10, as anti-inflammatory; caspase 3 as apoptosis; cyclin D1 as cell cycle marker; and nucleosome component histon H3 as reference gene.
The feeding regimens result in tissue individual regulation of mRNA gene expression in all investigated organs. It was discovered that there were significant differences between the applied diets and significant changes during feeding time curse. Both pomace treatments caused a significant up-regulation of all investigated genes in liver. The effect on mesenterial lymph nodes and spleen was not prominent. In the GIT, the treatment groups showed a inhibitory effects on gene expression mainly in stomach and jejunum (NFκB, cyclin D1 and caspase 3). In colon the trend of caspase 3 was positive with the greatest change in the RWPD group.
In jejunum and stomach the cell cycle turn over was reduced, whereas in liver the cell turn over was highly accelerate. The influence on inflammatory marker gene expression is mainly relevant in stomach. It is presume that both flavanoid rich feeding regimens have the potential to modulate the mRNA expressions of inflammatory, proliferation and apoptotic marker genes in the GIT and piglet organs.