Effects of Omega-3-Rich Harp Seal Oil on the Production of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines in Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages

Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2015 Jun;20(2):83-7. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2015.20.2.83. Epub 2015 Jun 30.


Omega-3, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, is an essential fatty acid necessary for human health, and it protects against cardiovascular disease, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. In the present study, we investigated the effects of omega-3-rich harp seal oil (HSO) on the production of nitric oxide (NO) and cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin-(IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-12/IL-23 (p40) in peritoneal macrophages of mice. The culture supernatants of murine macrophages exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), HSO, or HSO+LPS were harvested to assay IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-12/IL-23 (p40) cytokines and NO. TNF-α, IL-1 β, and IL-12/IL-23 (p40) levels, except IL-6, were lower in the culture supernatants of mouse peritoneal macrophages exposed to LPS plus HSO than those of the groups exposed to LPS alone. These observations demonstrate that omega-3-rich harp seal oil downregulates the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-12/IL-23 (p40). These results suggest that HSO could be potentially used as a preventive agent or as an adjunct in anti-inflammatory therapy, if more research results were accumulated.

Keywords: IL-12/IL-23 (p40); IL-6; harp seal oil; interleukin (IL)-1β; nitric oxide; tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α.