Molecular medicine reports

Butylated hydroxyanisole affects immunomodulation and promotes macrophage phagocytosis in normal BALB/c mice.

PMID 22159551


Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), a synthetic antioxidant, has been used in fat and fatty foods to prevent oxidative deterioration. However, the functions of BHA on immune responses in normal mice remain elusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of oral treatment of BHA on immune responses in normal mice in vivo. BALB/c mice received various treatments. Blood samples were collected and analyzed. Flow cytometry was used to determine the levels of the cell markers. Results showed that BHA did not significantly affect the weight of the animal body and spleen in normal mice. BHA promoted macrophage phagocytosis from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but did not alter this process in the peritoneal cavity. Furthermore, BHA did not influence natural-killer cell cytotoxicity in normal mice. Notably, BHA promoted the levels of CD3 (T cells) and decreased the level of CD19 (B cells), but did not significantly affect the levels of CD11b (monocytes) and macrophages (Mac-3) in normal mice. Based on these observations it can be concluded that BHA promotes immune responses by increasing T cells and activating phagocytosis by macrophages in normal mice. However, the molecular mechanisms require further investigation.