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J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Jul;57:121-129. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2018.03.020. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Anti-inflammatory effects of α-linolenic acid in M1-like macrophages are associated with enhanced production of oxylipins from α-linolenic and linoleic acid.

Author information

1
Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada; Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, Winnipeg, Canada.
2
Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada; Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, Winnipeg, Canada; Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba, Canada.
3
Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada; Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, Winnipeg, Canada. Electronic address: harold.aukema@umanitoba.ca.

Abstract

Chronic inflammation, mediated in large part by proinflammatory macrophage populations, contributes directly to the induction and perpetuation of metabolic diseases, including obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can have profound effects on inflammation through the formation of bioactive oxygenated metabolites called oxylipins. The objective of this study was to determine if exposure to the dietary omega-3 PUFA α-linolenic acid (ALA) can dampen the inflammatory properties of classically activated (M1-like) macrophages derived from the human THP-1 cell line and to examine the accompanying alterations in oxylipin secretion. We find that ALA treatment leads to a reduction in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α production. Although ALA is known to be converted to longer-chain PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), DHA oxylipins were reduced overall by ALA treatment, as was LPS-induced secretion of EPA oxylipins. In contrast, we observed profound increases in oxylipins directly derived from ALA. Lipoxygenase products of linoleic acid were also dramatically increased, and LPS-induced production of AA oxylipins, particularly prostaglandin D2, was reduced. These results suggest that ALA may act to dampen the inflammatory phenotype of M1-like macrophages by a unique set of mechanisms distinct from those used by the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Thus, there is strong rationale for investigating the functions of ALA oxylipins and lesser-known LA oxylipins since they hold promise as anti-inflammatory agents.

KEYWORDS:

Inflammation; Linoleic acid; Macrophage; Omega-3; Oxylipin; α-Linolenic acid

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