Zinc deficiency can cause suppression of the immune system and make it susceptible to infection, including infection of the respiratory tract. The benefits of zinc have not been widely studied and known to improve the bronchial mucosal immune status during respiratory tract infections. The aim of this study was to analyze the alteration of the bronchus mucosal immune status, expressed by IFN-γ, IL-6, dendritic cells and sIgA, that was caused by zinc deficiency. Twenty-four Rattus norvegicus strain Wistar species were divided into 4 experimental groups consisting of normal zinc + zinc supplementation (Z1), normal zinc (Z2), zinc deficiency + zinc supplementation (Z3) and zinc deficiency (Z4). The dose of zinc supplementation was 60 ppm in the normal diet group and 120 ppm in the zinc deficiency group. Dendritic cells, sIgA and the cytokines IFN-γ and IL-6 were examined using immunohistochemistry to assess bronchial immune status. The results of this study showed that dendritic cells and sIgA increased (p<0.0001) in the Z3 group but that cells producing cytokine IL-6 and IFN-γ (p<0.0001) decreased in the Z3 group. In the Z1 group, a statistically significant (p<0.0001) increase was seen in the number of dendritic cells and sIgA as well as an increase in cells producing cytokine IL-6 (p<0.016) compared with the Z2 group. According to the results, zinc is proven to alter the immune mucosa of the bronchi. Zinc supplementation can reverse the immune status by changing the dendritic cells, sIgA and cytokines IFN-γ and IL-6 in a zinc deficiency condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalCarpathian Journal of Food Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bronchial mucosa
  • Dendritic cell
  • IFN-γ
  • IL-6
  • SIgA
  • Zinc deficiency


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