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Cytokine. 2000 Sep;12(9):1374-9.

Activation state alters the effect of dietary fatty acids on pro-inflammatory mediator production by murine macrophages.

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Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, Bassett Crescent East, Southampton SO16 7PX, United Kingdom.


Studies investigating the effect of dietary fats on pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages (M phis) have yielded conflicting results. We hypothesised that this may be due to the different capacities of the M phis studied commonly (resident, thioglycollate-elicited) to produce prostaglandin E(2)(PGE(2)) and leukotriene B(4)(LTB(4)) which inhibit and stimulate, respectively, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) production. To investigate this, male C57Bl6 mice were fed for 6 weeks on a low fat (LF) diet or on high fat diets which contained coconut oil (CO), olive oil (OO), safflower oil (SO) or fish oil (FO) as the main fat source. Production of TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, PGE(2)and LTB(4)by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated resident and thioglycollate-elicited (i.e. inflammatory) peritoneal M phis was measured. PGE(2)production by both inflammatory and resident M phis was significantly decreased by FO feeding. FO also decreased LTB(4)production by resident M phis compared with LF feeding. Production of both cytokines by inflammatory M phis decreased with increasing unsaturation of the high fat diets, such that cells from FO-fed mice showed significantly decreased production of TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta compared to those from mice fed on each of the other diets. In contrast, resident M phis from mice fed FO showed increased TNF-alpha production compared to those from CO-fed mice. Thus, FO feeding decreases production of TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta by inflammatory M phis and increases production of TNF-alpha by resident M phis, at least in comparison to some other dietary fats. These results indicate the mechanisms by which dietary fats exert their effects upon pro-inflammatory cytokine production are most likely different for resident and inflammatory M phis.

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