Background & Aims: Crohn's disease (CD) globally emerges with Westernization of lifestyle and nutritional habits. However, a specific dietary constituent that comprehensively evokes gut inflammation in human inflammatory bowel diseases remains elusive. We aimed to delineate how increased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in a Western diet, known to impart risk for developing CD, affects gut inflammation and disease course. We hypothesized that the unfolded protein response and antioxidative activity of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), which are compromised in human CD epithelium, compensates for metabolic perturbation evoked by dietary PUFAs. Methods: We phenotyped and mechanistically dissected enteritis evoked by a PUFA-enriched Western diet in 2 mouse models exhibiting endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress consequent to intestinal epithelial cell (IEC)–specific deletion of X-box binding protein 1 (Xbp1) or Gpx4. We translated the findings to human CD epithelial organoids and correlated PUFA intake, as estimated by a dietary questionnaire or stool metabolomics, with clinical disease course in 2 independent CD cohorts. Results: PUFA excess in a Western diet potently induced ER stress, driving enteritis in Xbp1−/−IEC and Gpx4+/−IEC mice. ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs activated the epithelial endoplasmic reticulum sensor inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) by toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) sensing of oxidation-specific epitopes. TLR2-controlled IRE1α activity governed PUFA-induced chemokine production and enteritis. In active human CD, ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs instigated epithelial chemokine expression, and patients displayed a compatible inflammatory stress signature in the serum. Estimated PUFA intake correlated with clinical and biochemical disease activity in a cohort of 160 CD patients, which was similarly demonstrable in an independent metabolomic stool analysis from 199 CD patients. Conclusions: We provide evidence for the concept of PUFA-induced metabolic gut inflammation which may worsen the course of human CD. Our findings provide a basis for targeted nutritional therapy.
- Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
- Glutathione Peroxidase 4
- X-Box–Binding Protein 1
- ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
- ω-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas