Immunologic response to dietary proteins in cats.
Wit, M.R. de
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This study was conducted to gain more information about antibody production against novel and commonly exposed proteins, using hemp seed flour protein (from Cannabis Sativa plant) as a novel protein source. In this trial, two groups of eight domestic shorthair cats were fed with different diets, a basal canned diet mixed with raw hemp seed flour protein (diet 1) or diet 2 in which the canned diet was first mixed with hemp seed flour and heated afterwards. Antibody production was measured via indirect ELISA, using tree antigens (basal diet extract, raw hemps seed flour extract and heated hemp diet extract) and cats sera of 3 time moments (day 0, 11 and 25 after starting diets). Using raw or heated hemp protein in the diets, the effects of canning (heating) the hemp protein could also be reviewed. Based on results of indirect ELISA robust IgG antibodies were found against all the antigens in both group of cats. This is not in line with oral tolerance theory, in which cats should have lower antibody levels against commonly exposed proteins like the basal diet extract. Some differences were found between IgG levels against hemp protein between the two groups, with a possible explanation that cannabidiol from the hemp seed flour extract induced immune stimulation in the group receiving non-processed, raw hemp diet (diet 1). For more confirmation and clarification about antibody production against dietary proteins in cats, further research is necessary consisting of optimizing ELISA experiments and results.