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Toxicol Mech Methods. 2019 May;29(4):244-254. doi: 10.1080/15376516.2018.1553220. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Redox modulatory protective effects of ω-3 fatty acids rich fish oil against experimental colitis.

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a Department of Biophysics , Panjab University , Chandigarh , India.
b Department of Zoology , Dev Samaj College for Women , Ferozepur City , India.


Ulcerative colitis (UC), a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is an immune-modulated disorder characterized by chronic and recurring inflammatory episodes. Oxidative stress and COX pathway of prostaglandin (PG) biosynthesis are indispensable to pathogenesis of UC. Any imbalance between PGs can compromise the mucosal homeostasis, leading to mucosal damage and chronic inflammation. However, blocking these PGs using classical Cox inhibitors such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can instead aggravate signs of IBD. Therefore, realizing the need for safer and well tolerable alterative treatment approaches, currently, we evaluated the efficacy of n-3 fatty acids rich fish oil (FO) in the resolution of UC. Using a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) model of experimental colitis, we have demonstrated that supplementation of FO containing 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA for 1 month relieved the signs (diarrhea, bloody stools, weight loss) of colitis-associated inflammation. To understand the biophysical changes associated with FO mediated inflammatory regulation, impedance measurement and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were done. These changes were also correlated with oxidative stress through markers such as GST, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), LPO, catalase, protein carbonyl content, GR, etc. in colonic mucosa. The modulation of COX mediated pathways in UC-associated inflammation was observed by protein expressions of various pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and enzymes of PG synthesis such as COX-2, PGES, TXAS, and anti-inflammatory PGDS. Refuting the earlier reports that suggested the contradictory effects of FO, in the current study, we evidently demonstrated that the protective effects of FO are mediated through molecular mechanisms involving the redox-regulation of metabolism of key lipid metabolites.


Ulcerative colitis; fish oil; inflammation; n-3 PUFA; oxidative stress; prostaglandins

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