Abstract Title:

Effect of docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil supplementation on human leukocyte function.

Abstract Source:

Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec;25(6):923-38. Epub 2006 May 11. PMID: 16697494

Abstract Author(s):

Renata Gorjão, Rozangela Verlengia, Thais Martins de Lima, Francisco Garcia Soriano, Maria Fernanda Cury Boaventura, Carla Christine Kanunfre, Carmem Maldonado Peres, Sandra Concuzzo Sampaio, Rosemari Otton, Alessandra Folador, Edgair Fernandes Martins, Tania Cristina Pithon Curi, Erica Paula Portiolli, Philip Newsholme, Rui Curi


BACKGROUND: The effect of a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich fish oil (FO) supplementation on human leukocyte function was investigated. METHODS: Ten male volunteers were supplemented with 3g/day FO containing 26% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5, n-3) and 54% DHA (22:6, n-3) for 2 months. RESULTS: FO supplementation changed the fatty acid (FA) composition of leukocytes resulting in an increase of n-3/n-6 ratio from 0.18 to 0.62 in lymphocytes and from 0.15 to 0.70 in neutrophils. DHA-rich FO stimulated an increase in phagocytic activity by 62% and 145% in neutrophils and monocytes, respectively. Neutrophil chemotactic response was increased by 128%. The rate of production of reactive oxygen species by neutrophils was also increased, as it was with lymphocyte proliferation. These changes were partially reversed after a 2-month wash out period. With respect to cytokine production by lymphocytes, interleukin (IL)-4 release was not altered, whereas secretions of IL-10, interferon (IFN)-gamma and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were raised. These results are in contrast to those described by others using EPA-rich FO supplementation. Lymphocyte pleiotropic gene expression was analyzed by a macroarray technique. Of the analyzed genes (588 in total), 77 were modified by the supplementation. FO supplementation resulted in up-regulation of 6 genes (GATA binding protein 2, IL-6 signal transducer, transforming growth factor alpha, TNF, heat shock 90kDa protein 1-alpha and heat shock protein 70kDa 1A) and a down regulation of 71 genes (92.2% of total genes changed). The largest functional group of altered genes was that related to signaling pathways (22% of the total modified genes). CONCLUSIONS: Therefore, although EPA and DHA are members of n-3 FA family, changes in the proportion of DHA and EPA exert different effects on neutrophil, monocyte and lymphocyte function, which may be a result of specific changes in gene expression.

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