Tissue specific regulation of transforming growth factor beta by omega-3 lipid-rich krill oil in autoimmune murine lupus

B. Chandrasekar, D. A. Troyer, J. T. Venkatraman, Gabriel Fernandes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that hybrid New Zealand female mice I(NZBxNZW) F1 or B/W) fed a diet enriched in ω-3 lipid-rich fish oil vs. ω-6 lipid- rich corn oil show delayed development of autoimmune lupus nephritis and longer life span. The present study was carried out to explore the possible beneficial effects of oil from Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) as an alternative source of ω-3 lipids. Weanling B/W mice were fed a nutritionally adequate semipurified diet supplemented with either 10% (wt/wt) krill oil (KO) or corn oil (CO). Cross-sectional studies were carried out on kidneys and spleens at 3.5 and 6.5 months of age. Our results indicate that KO prolonged life span (CO, 266.7 days ± 12.5; KO, 330.2 days ± 19.2; P<0.001) and delayed the onset of proteinuria. Splenocytes from KO mice displayed greater proliferative responses to mitogen (concavalin A), and significantly lower Pgp-1+ cells in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets. Lipid extracts of splenocytes from KO fed mice revealed higher levels of eicosapentaenoic (20:5ω-3; EPA) and docosahexaenoic (22:6ω-3; DHA) acids; EPA suppresses prostaglandin synthesis. Further, Northern blot analysis showed decreased expression of the oncogene c-ras (1.5-fold, P<0.05) in the spleens of KO fed mice. The expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) was higher in spleen cell extracts (3.5-fold; P<0.025), but lower in kidney extracts (5.97- fold; P<0.025) of KO fed mice. The data indicate that dietary supplementation with KO modulates expression of TGFβ in an organ specific manner. In the spleen, TGFβ could be immunosuppressive, whereas its expression in the kidney may be pathological and proinflammatory. In summary, dietary KO, like fish oil, can suppress the development of autoimmune murine lupus, and its effects on inflammatory mediators are organ specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-503
Number of pages15
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996


  • Murine lupus
  • Oncogenes
  • Transforming growth factor beta
  • krill oil
  • ω-3 lipids
  • ω-6 lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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