Inhibitory effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids on MMP-9 release from microglial cells--implications for complementary multiple sclerosis treatment

Neurochem Res. 2007 Dec;32(12):2184-93. doi: 10.1007/s11064-007-9415-9. Epub 2007 Jul 11.


We investigated whether polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which might be a useful complementary therapy among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), are able to modulate matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) production in microglial cultures. MMPs are myelinotoxic factors. Primary cultures of rat microglia were treated with different doses of omega-3 (omega-3) PUFA or purified fish oil, containing a mixture of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA, and simultaneously activated by exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Culture supernatants were subjected to zymography and Western blot analysis for the assessment of MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels. Increased amounts of MMP-9, but not of the constitutively expressed MMP-2, were observed in supernatants from LPS-treated microglia in comparison with non-treated control cells. The treatment with both omega-3 PUFA and fish oil dose-dependently inhibited the LPS-induced production of MMP-9. Our results suggest that a low fat diet supplemented with omega-3 PUFA may become recommended for the well being of MS patients under therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Gelatinases / metabolism
  • Interferon Type I / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / enzymology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Interferon Type I
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Gelatinases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9