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J Nutr Biochem. 2006 Oct;17(10):697-706. Epub 2006 Jan 9.

Attenuation of mycotoxin-induced IgA nephropathy by eicosapentaenoic acid in the mouse: dose response and relation to IL-6 expression.

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Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1224, USA.


Clinical trials have revealed that progression of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN), the most common form of human glomerulonephritis, is inhibited by dietary (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation. The early stages of IgAN can be mimicked by feeding mice the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Here, the effects of consuming the (n-3) PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on DON-induced IgAN were assessed relative to dose dependency and to expression of interleukin (IL-6). In the dose-response study, weight gain and feed intake did not differ among mice consuming 20 ppm DON supplemented with 0%, 0.1%, 0.5% and 3% EPA for 16 weeks. Mice fed the two highest EPA concentrations exhibited markedly increased splenic EPA, docosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, whereas arachidonic acid was decreased in all three EPA fed groups. Deoxynivalenol consumption significantly increased serum IgA and IgA immune complexes as well as kidney mesangial IgA deposition. All three IgAN markers were attenuated in mice fed 3% EPA diet but not in those fed 0.1% or 0.5% EPA. Elevated IgA production was observed in spleen and Peyer's patch (PP) cell cultures derived from mice fed DON in control diets, but this was reduced in cultures from mice fed 0.1%, 0.5% and 3% EPA. Acute DON exposure increased serum levels of IL-6, a cytokine that drives differentiation of IgA-committed B cells to IgA secretion. Relatedly, expression of IL-6 mRNA and IL-6 heteronuclear RNA, a marker of IL-6 transcription, was increased in spleen and PP. All three indicators of IL-6 expression were suppressed in mice consuming 3% EPA. Suppressed IL-6 corresponded to decreased binding activity of two factors that regulate transcription of this cytokine, cyclic AMP response element-binding protein and activator protein-1. The results indicate that a threshold existed for EPA relative to suppression of experimental IgAN and that the threshold dose was effective at inhibiting IL-6 transcription.

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