Carrageenan Induced Changes in the Immunomodulatory Capacity of Macrophages: An in Vitro Study

  • S. Nicklin
  • K. Baker
  • K. Miller
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 237)


Experimental studies using rats have shown that small quantitites of orally administered carrageenan accumulate in the Peyer’s patches and caecal lymph node prior to transport to the mesenteric lymph node and peripheral tissues. Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that the persorption of small amounts of carrageenan across the intestinal barrier in any way poses an acute toxic hazard, carrageenan is a biologically active molecule (Di Rosa, 1972) and its extended oral administration was shown to modify systemic immune competence (see Nicklin and Miller, 1984 plus Nicklin, Baker & Miller in this volume). Whereas this effect could be attributed to carrageenan having a selective toxic effect on antigen processing macrophages, additional studies suggest that macrophages may also influence immune responses by the release of immunoregulatory mediators. In view of the continuing wide application of carrageenan in the food and drug industry an investigation into the effects of this material on the immunoregulatory role of macrophages was considered particularly relevant. The present study described a series of experiments designed to determine whether macrophages treated with toxic/subtoxic doses of carrageenan are capable of affecting lymphocyte activity in vitro.


Conditioned Medium Migration Inhibition Factor CTLL Cell Uridine Incorporation Warm Phosphate Buffer Saline 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Nicklin
    • 1
  • K. Baker
    • 1
  • K. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. ImmunotoxicologyThe British Industrial Biological Research AssociationCarshaltonUK

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