Background & aims: The molecular targets for the protective actions of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are unknown. We used a loss-of-function approach to investigate whether CLA ameliorated colitis through a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma)-dependent mechanism.
Methods: The expression of PPAR gamma, delta, and their target genes in the colon of mice fed control or CLA-supplemented diets was assayed after a 7-day dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) challenge by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Additionally, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) p65 activation was quantified in the colon. To determine the involvement of PPAR gamma in the mechanism of action of CLA directly, specific deletions of PPAR gamma in the colon were performed in mice by using the Cre-lox recombination system. Colonic PPAR gamma null mice and wild-type littermates were fed either a CLA-supplemented or a control diet for 42 days and challenged with 2.5% DSS. The therapeutic efficacy of CLA also was examined by using the CD4 + CD45RB hi transfer colitis model.
Results: CLA induced PPAR gamma and delta, transcriptionally modulated PPAR gamma and delta-responsive gene clusters involved in lipid metabolism (uncoupling protein [UCP]1, UCP3, PPAR gamma coactivator 1alpha [PGC-1alpha], and CD36) and epithelial cell maturation (Gob-4 and Keratin 20). Additionally, CLA repressed tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) expression and NF-kappaB activation while inducing the immunoregulatory cytokine transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1 ). Clinically, CLA ameliorated DSS- and CD4 + -induced colitis. Loss of the PPAR gamma gene in the colon abrogated the beneficial effects of CLA in DSS colitis.
Conclusions: Our studies provide molecular evidence in vivo, suggesting that CLA ameliorates colitis through a PPAR gamma-dependent mechanism.