Effect of Organic vs Conventional Feed Intake on Rat Offspring

Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of maternal consumption of organically or conventionally produced feed on immunological biomarkers and their offsprings' response to a novel dietary antigen. First-generation rats were fed plant-based diets from two different cultivation systems (organic or conventional) or a chow. Second-generation rats were exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) via their mother's milk and subsequently challenged with OVA after weaning onto the chow diet. In the chow diet group feeding the dams OVA resulted in suppression of the pups' anti-OVA antibody response to the OVA challenge (total OVA-specific IgG was 197 for the OVA-treated chow diet group and 823 for the control chow diet group (arbitrary ELISA units)). In contrast, OVA exposure of the dams from the plant-based dietary groups did not result in a similar suppression. Cultivation system had no effect on the immunological biomarkers, except for a higher spleen prostaglandin E-2 (PGE(2)) concentration in pups originating from dams fed the conventional plant-based diet (223 ng/L) than from those fed the organic plant-based diet (189 ng/L).

Reference: Jensen, M. M., et al. (2013). Effect of Maternal Intake of Organically or Conventionally Produced Feed on Oral Tolerance Development in Offspring Rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61(20): 4831-4838. Available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf305454c