Enhancement of intestinal IgA responses is a primary strategy in the development of oral vaccine. Dietary fatty acids are known to regulate host immune responses. In this study, we show that dietary palmitic acid (PA) and its metabolites enhance intestinal IgA responses. Intestinal IgA production was increased in mice maintained on a PA-enriched diet. These mice also showed increased intestinal IgA responses against orally immunized Ag, without any effect on serum Ab responses. We found that PA directly stimulates plasma cells to produce Ab. In addition, mice receiving a PA-enriched diet had increased numbers of IgA-producing plasma cells in the large intestine; this effect was abolished when serine palmitoyltransferase was inhibited. These findings suggest that dietary PA regulates intestinal IgA responses and has the potential to be a diet-derived mucosal adjuvant.
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