The impact of lemon pectin characteristics on TLR activation and T84 intestinal epithelial cell barrier function

Leonie M. Vogt, Neha M. Sahasrabudhe, Uttara Ramasamy, Diederick Meyer, Gerdie Pullens, Marijke M. Faas, Koen Venema, Henk A. Schols, Paul de Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Web of Science)


Sufficient dietary fibre intake reduces the risk of several diseases, but the mechanisms linking fibre structure and health effects remain unclear. To analyse the influence of the amount of methyl groups esterified to the backbone, lemon pectins of different degrees of methyl esterification (30, 56, and 74dm) were studied for immune receptor activating potential and epithelial barrier protection. In reporter assays, the pectins demonstrated tlr/myd88 dependent activation of nf-?b/ap-1, which increased with increasing pectin dm. To analyse the importance of backbone structure, the pectins were enzymatically digested into oligomers, which abrogated tlr activating potential. The 30 and 74dm pectins induced strong protection of the epithelial barrier measured by t84 transepithelial electrical resistance (teer). These results indicate that activation of immune cells by lemon pectins is tlr dependent, and the intact polymer backbone is indispensable for activation. In addition, dm is a determining factor in activating potential and epithelial barrier protective effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-407
JournalJournal of Functional Foods
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Pectin
  • Chain length
  • Methyl groups
  • TLR
  • NF-kappa B
  • Epithelial barrier

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