Objective: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have beneficial effects on inflammation and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Our aim was to assess the effect of a six-week supplementation with either olive oil, EPA, or DHA on gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
Methods: Subjects were sampled at baseline and six weeks after receiving either: olive oil 6.0 g/day (n = 16), EPA 1.8 g/day (n = 16), or DHA 1.8 g/day (n = 18). PBMC were subjected to gene expression analysis by microarray with key findings confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR).
Results: Plasma phospholipid EPA increased 3 fold in the EPA group, and DHA increased 63% in the DHA group (both p < 0.01), while no effects were observed in the olive oil group. Microarray analysis indicated that EPA but not DHA or olive oil significantly affected the gene expression in the following pathways: 1) interferon signaling, 2) receptor recognition of bacteria and viruses, 3) G protein signaling, glycolysis and glycolytic shunting, 4) S-adenosyl-l-methionine biosynthesis, and 5) cAMP-mediated signaling including cAMP responsive element protein 1 (CREB1), as well as many other individual genes including hypoxia inducible factor 1, α subunit (HIF1A). The findings for CREB1 and HIF1A were confirmed by Q-PCR analysis.
Conclusions: Our data indicate that EPA supplementation was associated with significant effects on gene expression involving the interferon pathway as well as down-regulation of CREB1 and HIF1A, which may relate to its beneficial effect on CVD risk reduction.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01400490.
Keywords: Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Gene expression; Hypoxia inducible factor 1; Microarray analysis; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; α subunit.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.