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J Surg Res. 1999 Apr;82(2):216-21.

Fish oil decreases macrophage tumor necrosis factor gene transcription by altering the NF kappa B activity.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, California, 90095, USA.



Fish oil-supplemented diets have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects, though the exact mechanism(s) are unknown. This study investigated the effects of eicosapentanenoic acid (EPA), a major component of fish oil, on transcriptional regulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) gene in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages (MO).


RAW 264.7 cells, a mouse MO cell line, were grown in EPA-rich media for 24-48 h. MO were washed and exposed to Escherichia coli LPS (1 microg/ml) for 2 h. TNF mRNA expression was measured by Northern blot assays. Total nuclear extracts were harvested for the measurement of NF kappa B with electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Supershift assays were performed with anti-P50 or anti-P65 antibodies to show components of NF kappa B dimers. TNF production was determined by L929 bioassays.


LPS stimulated RAW cell TNF mRNA expression and NF kappa B activity. In contrast, RAW cells grown in EPA-rich media had less TNF mRNA expression and an altered composition of the NF kappa B subunits (P65/P50 dimers) in the presence of LPS. TNF production by LPS-stimulated MO was reduced by EPA.


The inhibitory effect of EPA on LPS-stimulated MO TNF gene transcription and protein elaboration is, in part, mediated through altering NF kappa B activation by reducing the P65/P50 dimers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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