Influence of unsaponifiable matter from ghee on lymphocyte proliferation and erythrocyte fragility in rats

T. G. Niranjan, M. Vijaykumar, B. R. Lokesh, T. P. Krishnakantha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cholesterol Oxidation Products (COPs) are implicated in diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer and are known to affect vital functions such as cell growth and proliferation, and membrane structure and function. Ghee, commonly used in Indian diet contains a considerable amount of COPs and hence has been implicated as a causative factor for cardiovascular diseases. Little or no information is available on the effect of ghee or its constituents on membrane structure and function. In this study, Unsaponifiable Matter(USM) from ghee was dissolved in groundnut oil and force fed to male wistar rats for a period of 8 days. The control rats were fed Groundnut oil (GNO) while the experimental rats were fed with USM derived from either fresh ghee or oxidized ghee. The effect of feeding USM from ghee on lymphocyte proliferation, erythrocyte fragility, erythrocyte lipid composition and platelet aggregation was studied. Spleen weight and lymphocyte proliferation decreased by 30-41% in the experimental rats. A decrease in the erythrocyte fragility was observed in the ghee fed rats. However, there was no change in erythrocyte ghost membrane lipid composition, platelet aggregation, or in malondialdehyde content, a measure of the 'release reaction' in platelets. It is inferred from these studies that the USM from oxidized ghee is immunosupressive, and has no effect on platelet aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1682
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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