Protection from glutathione depletion by a glyconutritional mixture of saccharides.
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A complex glyconutritional (GN) mixture of mono-, di-and polysaccharides was investigated to assess its capacity to protect two different types of rodent cells, rat hepatocytes and mouse splenocytes, from depletion of glutathione by a sulfhydryl-reactive mycotoxin, patulin, or by coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) infection, respectively. Rat hepatocytes were treated with the GN mixture in vitro or received carrier medium only prior to treatment with patulin. When treated with the GN mixture prior to patulin exposure hepatocytes demonstrated protection against depletion of intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH). Cells treated with the GN for up to 15 hours prior to patulin exposure showed no increase in protection of GSH above that demonstrated by cells treated for 3 hours. Mice were infected with CVB3 and one treatment group was injected intraperitoneally with the GN once a week. Animals were splenectomized each month over a ten month treatment for analysis of spleen monocytic cells. Splenocytes from mice treated with the GN mixture did not show the virally-associated depletion of intracellular GSH or damage to pancreatic acini observed in CVB3 inoculated but non-GN-treated mice. Animals from which spleen cells were taken for analysis showed no decrease in anti-CVB3 antibodies and no decrease in viral titers to accompany or explain the normal levels of intracellular GSH. These data strongly suggest that a complex mixture of exogenous saccharides exerts a protective effect on liver cells in vitro in that the cells are protected from chemically initiated depletion of intracellular GSH, and on spleen cells in vivo in that the cells are protected against a CVB3-initiated decrease in intracellular GSH and increase in pancreatic acini damage.