The role of apaptosis in the suppression of lymphoproliferation which is observed in animals fed diets rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
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Dietary fish oil has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, and to relieve the symptoms of some inflammatory diseases in humans. It is thought that n-3 fatty acids found in fish oils may act to suppress T cell activation, which is a prerequisite for many types of inflammation. Previously, we demonstratied that splenocyte cultures of mice fed diets reich in the n-3 fatty acid eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) undergo a higher degree of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, upon stimulation, than celks from mice fed the n-6 fatty acid control diet, and that increased apoptosis was correlated with decreased proliferation in those cultures. In the present study we show that T cells from animals fed diets rich in fish oils have a lower proliferative response and a higher incidence of apoptosis when stimulated with a-CD3/aCD28 than similarly stimulated T cells from mice fed the arachidonic acid and corn oil (n-6) enriched diets. This indicates that an aCD3/aCD28 activation induced mechanism of apoptosis is modulated by dietary fatty acid, and could explain diet-induced alterations in T cell function.
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Shawver, Paula Ann (1999). The role of apaptosis in the suppression of lymphoproliferation which is observed in animals fed diets rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from