The acute effects of dihydrocapsaicin (DHC) and capsaicin (CAP) on the number of white blood cells (WBCs), neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and NK cells, and serum corticosterone levels were studied in rats. Male 7-wk-old SD rats were divided into DHC (3.0 mg/kg BW), CAP (3.0 mg/ kg BW) and control (CON) groups. The number of total WBCs was 1.30-1.42 times significantly higher in the DHC group than in the CON group at 6-12 h. The number of neutrophils was 1.62 times significantly higher in the DHC group than in the CON group at 12 h. The number of total WBCs and neutrophils, however, showed no significant changes between the CAP and CON groups. The number of lymphocytes was 0.61 and 0.70 times significantly lower in the DHC and CAP groups than in the CON group at 3 h. The number of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes was 0.74 and 0.54 times lower in the DHC group than in the CON group, respectively. CAP, however, did not significantly change the number of T lymphocytes or B lymphocytes. No significant changes in the number of NK cells were observed among the three groups. CAP and DHC did not change the number of monocytes, eosinophils or basophils. No significant changes of the serum corticosterone levels were observed among the three groups. In conclusion, capsaicinoids decreased the number of acquired immunity cells, and increased the number of total WBCs and neutrophils without changing the number of monocytes, eosinophils or basophils. The magnitidue of these effects was relatively higher in DHC than in CAP.
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