Korean pine nut oil (PNO) has been reported to have favorable effects on lipid metabolism and appetite control. We investigated whether PNO consumption could influence weight gain, and whether the PNO-induced effect would result in an improvement of immune function in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. C57BL/6 mice were fed control diets with 10% energy fat from either PNO or soybean oil (SBO), or HFDs with 45% energy fat from 10% PNO or SBO and 35% lard, 20% PNO or SBO and 25% lard, or 30% PNO or SBO and 15% lard for 12 weeks. The proliferative responses of splenocytes upon stimulation with concanavalin A (Con A) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), Con A-stimulated production of interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-γ, and LPS-stimulated production of IL-6, IL-1β, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by splenocytes were determined. Consumption of HFDs containing PNO resulted in significantly less weight gain (17% less, P < 0.001), and lower weight gain was mainly due to less white adipose tissue (18% less, P = 0.001). The reduction in weight gain did not result in the overall enhancement in splenocyte proliferation. Overall, PNO consumption resulted in a higher production of IL-1β (P = 0.04). Replacement of SBO with PNO had no effect on the production of IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-6, or PGE2 in mice fed with either the control diets or HFDs. In conclusion, consumption of PNO reduced weight gain in mice fed with HFD, but this effect did not result in the overall improvement in immune responses.
Keywords: Pine nut oil; high-fat diet; immune response; inflammatory cytokine; obesity.