The selective effect of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on murine Th1 and Th2 cell development



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Texas A&M University


To examine how dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids affect Th2 cell development, female C57BL/6 mice were fed a washout corn oil (CO) diet for 1 wk followed by 2 wk of either the same CO diet or a fish oil (FO) diet. CD4+ T cells were isolated from spleens and cultured under both neutral (anti-CD3 and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)) and Th2 polarizing conditions (anti-CD3 and PMA, in presence of rIL-4, rIL-2, and anti-IFN-????) in the presence of homologous mouse serum (HMS) or fetal bovine serum (FBS) for 2 d. Dietary n-3 PUFA significantly enhanced Th2 cell development and suppressed Th1 development under neutral conditions as assessed by intracellular cytokine staining for IL-4 and IFN-???? as the two prototypic Th2 and Th1 cytokines, respectively. However, under Th2 polarizing conditions, while the suppression of Th1 cells was maintained in FO-fed mice, no dietary effect was observed in Th2 cells. Dietary FO increased the Th2/Th1 ratio under both neutral and Th2 polarizing conditions with HMS in the cultures. To examine the effect of dietary n-3 PUFA on Th1 development, DO11.10 Rag2-/- mice expressing transgenic T cell receptor specific for ovalbumin (OVA) peptide were used. CD4+ T cells were isolated from spleens and lymph nodes and stimulated with ovalbumin (OVA) peptide and irradiated BALB/c splenocytes in the presence of rIL-12, anti-IL-4, and rIL-2 in HMS for 2d. Cells were expanded for another 3 d in the presence of rIL-2 and rIL-12. Dietary n-3 PUFA did not affect Th1 differentiation as assessed by the proportion of IFN-????+, IL-4- T cells in the cultures, but suppressed rIL-2 induced expansion. The suppressed expansion was due to suppressed proliferation (p<0.05). In vivo expansion of antigen-specific T cells was visualized by flow cytometric analysis of CFSE-positive transgenic T cells. Dietary n-3 PUFA did not appear to affect antigen-induced CD4+ T cell cycle progression in vivo. Overall, these results suggest dietary n-3 PUFA have no direct effect on Th2 cell development but do directly suppress Th1 cell development following both mitogenic and antigenic stimulation in vitro.