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J Infect Dis. 1992 May;165(5):898-903.

Dietary fish-oil supplementation in experimental gram-negative infection and in cerebral malaria in mice.

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Department of General Internal Medicine, University Hospital Nijmegen, Netherlands.


Dietary fish-oil supplementation interferes with eicosanoid production and appears to decrease production of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The effect of fish oil was investigated in an intramuscular Klebsiella pneumoniae infection in Swiss mice and in cerebral malaria induced by Plasmodium berghei in C57B1/6 mice. After a low inoculum of K. pneumoniae, 90% of fish oil-fed mice survived; survival in control mice fed equal amounts of corn or palm oil or normal chow was 30%, 40%, and 0, respectively. Cerebral malaria occurred in only 23% of fish oil-fed mice; in the controls, cerebral malaria developed in 61%, 81%, and 78%, respectively. Contrary to what was expected, lipopolysaccharide-induced ex vivo production of IL-1 alpha and TNF alpha by peritoneal cells was significantly enhanced in fish oil-fed mice compared with controls. Indomethacin treatment did not alter the outcome in these two infections, thus arguing against reduced prostaglandin synthesis as an explanation for the increase in resistance to infection.

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