Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid and status of immunocompetent cells involved in innate immunity in female rats

Ann Nutr Metab. 2000;44(1):38-42. doi: 10.1159/000012819.


The aim of this study was to estimate the contributions of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), a representative dietary immunosuppressant, to the activity of both alveolar macrophages (AM) and natural killer (NK) cells, and compare them to those of n-6 PUFA. Twelve 5-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two dietary groups, one fed a 10% fat diet for 9 weeks enriched with n-3 PUFA (n-3 diet) and the other an n-6 PUFA (n-6 diet). AM reduced the release of nitric oxide, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha in the rats fed the n-3 diet, compared with rats fed the n-6 diet. NK cell activity was reduced by consumption of the n-3 diet. This study suggests that consumption of n-3 PUFA can ameliorate pulmonary inflammatory disorders which are affected by the reduction of not only proinflammatory cytokines but also chemokine released from AM.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Immunity*
  • Immunocompetence*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / immunology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Superoxides
  • Nitric Oxide