Modulation of antioxidant enzymes and programmed cell death by n-3 fatty acids

Gabriel Fernandes, Bysani Chandrasekar, Xianghong Luan, Dean A. Troyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Studies from our laboratory indicate that n-3 (fiish oil, FO) lipids at 10% (w/w) in a nutritionally adequate, semipurified diet, and supplemented with equal levels of antioxidants, extended the life span of lupus-prone (NZB/NZW)F1 (B/W) female mice as compared to n-6 (corn oil, CO) lipids. The early rise of autoimmune disease in CO-fed mice was closely linked to the loss of T-cell function. Both IL-2 production and IL-2 receptor expression were reduced due to the loss of naive T-cells and a rise in memory T-cells. Proliferative response to both mitogens and superantigens (staphylococcal enterotoxins A and B) was higher in FO-fed 6.5-mon-old mice. These changes paralleled decreased PGE2 production by splenic cells from FO-fed mice. Analysis of mRNA expression in different organs revealed differential effects of dietary lipids. In FO-fed mice, transforming growth factor β1 (TCF β1) expression was decreased in kidneys, but splenic tissues had higher expression of TGF β mRNA. As TGF β promotes programmed cell death (PCD), we studied the effects of CO and FO on PCD rates in lymphocytes. Both propidium iodide staining and DNA fragmentation were elevated in lymphocytes of FO-fed mice when compared to CO-fed mice of similar age. Also, increased PCD correlated closely with increased Fas gene expression. Thus, in addition to various other antiinflammatory effects, dietary FO appears to increase PCD and prevent accumulation of self-reactive immune cells in lymphoid organs. Further studies are required to dissect the pro-and antiinflammatory mechanisms associated with dietary n-3 and n-6 lipids in modulating autoimmune disorders or malignancy during aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S-91-S-96
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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