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Feeding long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to obese leptin receptor-deficient JCR:LA-cp rats modifies immune function and lipid-raft fatty acid composition

  • Megan R. Ruth (a1) (a2), Spencer D. Proctor (a1) and Catherine J. Field (a1) (a2)


Dietary EPA and DHA modulate immunity and thereby may improve the aberrant immune function in obese states. To determine the effects of feeding fish oil (FO) containing EPA and DHA on splenocyte phospholipid (PL) and lipid-raft fatty acid composition, phenotypes and cytokine production, 14-week-old obese, leptin receptor-deficient JCR:LA-cp rats (cp/cp; n 10) were randomised to one of three nutritionally adequate diets for 3 weeks: control (Ctl, 0 % EPA+DHA); low FO (LFO, 0·8 % (w/w) EPA+DHA); high FO (HFO, 1·4 % (w/w) EPA+DHA). Lean JCR:LA-cp (+/ −  or +/+) rats (n 5) were fed the Ctl diet. Obese Ctl rats had a higher proportion of n-3 PUFA in splenocyte PL than lean rats fed the same diet (P < 0·05). The lower n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio of splenocyte PL was consistent with the lower mitogen-stimulated interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-1β production by cells from obese rats (P < 0·05). Obese rats fed the FO diet had lower mitogen-stimulated Th1 (IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-4) cytokine responses, but IL-2 production (concanavalin A; ConA) did not differ (P < 0·05). The HFO diet was more effective in lowering IL-1β and increasing IL-10 production (ConA, P < 0·05). This lower IL-1β production was accompanied by a lower proportion of major histocompatability complex class II-positive cells and a higher incorporation of DHA into lipid rafts. This is the first study to demonstrate impaired responses to mitogen stimulation and altered fatty acid incorporation into the membrane PL of JCR:LA-cp rats. Feeding FO lowered the ex vivo inflammatory response, without altering IL-2 production from ConA-stimulated splenocytes which may occur independent of leptin signalling.

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      Feeding long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to obese leptin receptor-deficient JCR:LA-cp rats modifies immune function and lipid-raft fatty acid composition
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      Feeding long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to obese leptin receptor-deficient JCR:LA-cp rats modifies immune function and lipid-raft fatty acid composition
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      Feeding long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to obese leptin receptor-deficient JCR:LA-cp rats modifies immune function and lipid-raft fatty acid composition
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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Catherine J. Field, fax +1 780 492-2011, email


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