Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Dec;24(12):2127-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Docosahexaenoic acid reduces cellular inflammatory response following permanent focal cerebral ischemia in rats.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Fong Yuan Hospital, Taichung 420, Taiwan.


Cellular inflammatory response plays an important role in ischemic brain injury and anti-inflammatory treatments in stroke are beneficial. Dietary supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) shows anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects against ischemic stroke. However, its effectiveness and its precise modes of neuroprotective action remain incompletely understood. This study provides evidence of an alternative target for DHA and sheds light on the mechanism of its physiological benefits. We report a global inhibitory effect of 3 consecutive days of DHA preadministration on circulating and intracerebral cellular inflammatory responses in a rat model of permanent cerebral ischemia. DHA exhibited a neuroprotective effect against ischemic deficits by reduction of behavioral disturbance, brain infarction, edema and blood-brain barrier disruption. The results of enzymatic assay, Western blot, real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and flow cytometric analysis revealed that DHA reduced central macrophages/microglia activation, leukocyte infiltration and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and peripheral leukocyte activation after cerebral ischemia. In parallel with these immunosuppressive phenomena, DHA attenuated post-stroke oxidative stress, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation, c-Jun phosphorylation and activating protein-1 (AP-1) activation but further elevated ischemia-induced NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression. DHA treatment also had an immunosuppressive effect in lipopolysaccharide/interferon-γ-stimulated glial cultures by attenuating JNK phosphorylation, c-Jun phosphorylation and AP-1 activation and augmenting Nrf2 and HO-1 expression. In summary, we have shown that DHA exhibited neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects against ischemic brain injury and these effects were accompanied by decreased oxidative stress and JNK/AP-1 signaling as well as enhanced Nrf2/HO-1 expression.


DHA; Neuroinflammation; Neuroprotection; Stroke

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center