TitleDietary Enrichment with 20% Fish Oil Decreases Mucus Production and the Inflammatory Response in Mice with Ovalbumin-Induced Allergic Lung Inflammation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHall JA, Hartman J, Skinner MM, Schwindt AR, Fischer KA, Vorachek WR, Bobe G, Valentine BA
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2016

The prevalence of asthma has increased in recent decades, which may be related to higher dietary intake of (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and lower intake of (n-3) PUFA, e.g., those contained in fish oil. The objective of this study was to determine if dietary PUFA enrichment decreases mucus production or the inflammatory response associated with ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic lung inflammation. Mice (n = 10/group) were fed control, 20% fish oil, or 20% corn oil enriched diets for a total of 12 weeks. At 8 and 10 weeks, mice were given an intraperitoneal injection of saline (10 control-fed mice) or OVA (30 remaining mice). Once at 10 weeks and on 3 consecutive days during week 12, mice were challenged by nebulizing with saline or OVA. Mice were euthanized 24 hours after the last challenge and blood was collected for plasma FA analysis. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected to determine cell composition and Th2-type cytokine (IL-4, IL-13) concentrations. Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) + mucus-producing cells and CD45+ inflammatory cell infiltrates in lung tissue were quantified using morphometric analysis. Relative abundance of mRNA for mucin (Muc4, Muc5ac, and Muc5b) and Th2-type cytokine (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13) genes were compared with ß-actin by qPCR. Supplementation with either corn oil or fish oil effectively altered plasma FA profiles towards more (n-6) FA or (n-3) FA, respectively (P < 0.0001). Sensitization and challenge with OVA increased the proportion of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and eosinophils, and decreased the proportion of macrophages and concentrations of IL-13 in BAL fluid; increased the percentage of PAS+ mucus-producing cells and CD45+ inflammatory cell infiltrates in lung tissue; and increased gene expression of mucins (Muc4, Muc5ac, and Muc5b) and Th2-type cytokines (IL-5 and IL-13) in lung tissue of control-fed mice. Dietary PUFA reversed the increase in PAS+ mucus-producing cells (P = 0.003). In addition, dietary enrichment with fish oil attenuated the percentage of CD45+ inflammatory cell infiltrates in lung tissue, and increased Muc4 and Muc 5b gene expression compared with OVA-sensitized and challenged control mice. In conclusion, dietary enrichment with either (n-3) or (n-6) PUFA decreased mucus production in lung tissues of OVA-sensitized and challenged mice. More specifically, enrichment with dietary (n-3) PUFA decreased CD45+ inflammatory cell infiltrates, thus inducing potentially beneficial changes in lung tissue of OVA-sensitized and challenged mice.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID27669173
PubMed Central IDPMC5036796