Dietary fish oil decreases secretion of T helper (Th) 1-type cytokines by a direct effect on murine splenic T cells but enhances secretion of a Th2-type cytokine by an effect on accessory cells.Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr; 101(7):1040-6.BJ
Dietary fish oil is considered to have anti-inflammatory effects based primarily on its effects on T-cell proliferation and IL-2 secretion. Its effects on the secretion of T helper (Th) 1-type cytokines vary and few studies have examined its effects on the secretion of Th2-type cytokines. In the present study, we examined the effects of dietary fish oil on the secretion of Th1 and Th2-type cytokines by splenocytes and the mechanism by which dietary fish oil affects Th2-type cytokine secretion. Mice were fed diets supplemented with 18 % fish oil (w/w) +2 % maize oil or 20 % maize oil for 6 weeks. Spleen cells, isolated splenic T cells and accessory cells (splenocytes depleted of T cells) were stimulated with anti-CD3/anti-CD28. The secretion of interferon (IFN)-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-4 and IL-10 was measured by ELISA. Dietary fish oil decreased the secretion of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha by total splenocytes and isolated T cells. In contrast, dietary fish oil increased the secretion of IL-4 by total splenocytes but had no effect on IL-4 secretion by isolated T cells. When isolated T cells were cultured with CD11b+ cells (mainly macrophages), cells from mice fed the fish oil diet secreted more IL-4 than cells from mice fed the maize oil diet. These results demonstrate that dietary fish oil directs cytokine secretion by splenocytes towards a Th2 phenotype and that the effects of dietary fish oil on the secretion of a Th2-type cytokine are mediated by its effect on CD11b+ accessory cells.