Dietary fat influences the expression of autoimmune disease in MRL/lpr/lpr mice

Immunology. 1986 Nov;59(3):439-43.


Near-isocaloric diets with qualitative and quantitative differences in fat content have a profound influence on the manifestation and progression of the autoimmune syndrome that occurs in female MRL/lpr mice. In these animals, a high (9%) lipid intake resulted in a significantly higher mortality rate: 60% (saturated fat) and 75% (unsaturated fat) compared to 35% at 1 year for a group fed a diet low in fat. Furthermore, beginning at 7 months of age mice from both of the high fat diet groups exhibited a significantly higher incidence of proteinuria than mice in the low fat group. Immunologically, the group fed the high unsaturated fat diet had the highest incidence of anti-dsDNA autoantibodies, and the high saturated fat group had the poorest macrophage phagocytic function. The low fat diet preserved near 'normal' immune function in general, particularly IL-2 production. No significant differences were noted in either the production of rheumatoid factor or natural killer cell activity, irrespective of age or diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / prevention & control*
  • DNA
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Proteinuria


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies
  • Dietary Fats
  • Interleukin-2
  • DNA