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PLoS One. 2018 Mar 15;13(3):e0194331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194331. eCollection 2018.

N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids restore Th17 and Treg balance in collagen antibody-induced arthritis.

Author information

1
Division of Rheumatology, Daejeon Rheumatoid & Degenerative Arthritis Center, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Research Institute, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Pathology, Cancer Research Institute, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have anti-inflammatory effects and were considered useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recently, several studies suggested that n-3 PUFAs attenuated arthritis in animal model and human, however the mechanism is still unclear. Interleukin 17 (IL-17) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine mainly produced by T helper 17 (Th17) cells which cause tissue inflammation and bone erosion leading to joint destruction. In contrast, regulatory T (Treg) cells down-regulate various immune responses by suppression of naïve T cells. The imbalance between Th17 cells and Tregs cell is important for the pathogenesis of RA. Here, we investigated whether n-3 PUFAs attenuate arthritis in collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA) model. We used fat-1 transgenic mice expressing the Caenorhabditis elegans fat-1 gene encoding an n-3 fatty acid desaturase that converts n-6 to n-3 fatty acids, leading to abundant n-3 fatty acids without the need of a dietary n-3 supply. Clinical arthritis score was significantly attenuated in fat-1 mice compared to wild type (WT) mice on day 7 (1.6±1.8, p = 0.012) and day 9 (1.5±1.6, p = 0.003). Ankle thickness also decreased significantly in fat-1 mice compared to WT mice (1.82±0.11, p = 0.008). The pathologic finding showed that inflammatory cell infiltration and bone destruction were reduced in fat-1 mice compared to WT. The expression levels of IL-17 and related cytokines including IL-6 and IL-23 decreased in the spleen and ankle joint tissue of fat-1 mice compared to WT mice. Furthermore, Treg cells were expanded in the spleen of fat-1 mice and Treg cell differentiation was significantly higher in fat-1 mice than in wild type (p = 0.038). These data suggest that n-3 PUFAs could attenuate arthritis through increasing the expression of FoxP3 and the differentiation of Treg, while reducing IL-17 production. Therefore, dietary supplementation of n-3 PUFAs could have a therapeutic potential for the treatment of RA.

PMID:
29543869
PMCID:
PMC5854360
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0194331
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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