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J Nutr. 1999 Oct;129(10):1791-8.

Both (n-3) and (n-6) fatty acids stimulate wound healing in the rat intestinal epithelial cell line, IEC-6.

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Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


The control of proliferation and epithelial restitution are processes that are poorly understood. The effects of (n-3), (n-6) and trans fatty acids on proliferation of subconfluent IEC-6 cultures and restitution of wounded IEC-6 monolayers were investigated. Incorporation of supplemented fatty acids into cellular phospholipid was also assessed. Sulforhodamine B protein dye binding assay was utilized to assess the proliferative effects of fatty acids on growth of IEC-6 cultures. Incorporation of supplemental fatty acids into cellular phospholipid was examined by thin-layer chromatography combined with gas chromatography. The modulation of epithelial restitution was examined by razor blade wounding confluent IEC-6 monolayers grown in media supplemented with various fatty acids. Inhibition of eicosanoid synthesis by indomethacin during the wounding assay was also assessed. Both (n-3) and (n-6) fatty acids significantly inhibited growth of this intestinal epithelial cell model at concentrations above 125 micromol/L. The trans fatty acid, linoelaidate 18:2(n-6)trans, inhibited growth of IEC-6 cells at concentrations above 250 micromol/L. Another trans fatty acid, elaidate 18:1(n-9)trans, was well-tolerated at concentrations as high as 500 micromol/L. Eicosapentanoic 20:5(n-3), linoleic 18:2(n-6), alpha-linolenic 18:3(n-3), gamma-linolenic 18:3(n-6) and arachidonic 20:4(n-6) acids all significantly enhanced cellular migration in the IEC-6 model of wound healing. Eicosapentanoate, linoleate, alpha-linolenate, gamma-linolenate and arachidonate are all capable of improving reconstitution of epithelial integrity following mucosal injury. Inhibition of eicosanoid synthesis reduced the enhancement of restitution by n-6 fatty acids back to control levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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