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The ethanolamide metabolite of DHA, docosahexaenoylethanolamine, shows immunomodulating effects in mouse peritoneal and RAW264.7 macrophages: evidence for a new link between fish oil and inflammation

  • Jocelijn Meijerink (a1), Pierluigi Plastina (a1), Jean-Paul Vincken (a2), Mieke Poland (a1), Mohamed Attya (a1), Michiel Balvers (a1) (a3), Harry Gruppen (a2), Bartolo Gabriele (a4) and Renger F. Witkamp (a1) (a3)...

Several mechanisms have been proposed for the positive health effects associated with dietary consumption of long-chain n-3 PUFA (n-3 LC-PUFA) including DHA (22 : 6n-3) and EPA (20 : 5n-3). After dietary intake, LC-PUFA are incorporated into membranes and can be converted to their corresponding N-acylethanolamines (NAE). However, little is known on the biological role of these metabolites. In the present study, we tested a series of unsaturated NAE on the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NO production in RAW264.7 macrophages. Among the compounds tested, docosahexaenoylethanolamine (DHEA), the ethanolamide of DHA, was found to be the most potent inhibitor, inducing a dose-dependent inhibition of NO release. Immune-modulating properties of DHEA were further studied in the same cell line, demonstrating that DHEA significantly suppressed the production of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), a cytokine playing a pivotal role in chronic inflammation. In LPS-stimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages, DHEA also reduced MCP-1 and NO production. Furthermore, inhibition was also found to take place at a transcriptional level, as gene expression of MCP-1 and inducible NO synthase was inhibited by DHEA. To summarise, in the present study, we showed that DHEA, a DHA-derived NAE metabolite, modulates inflammation by reducing MCP-1 and NO production and expression. These results provide new leads in molecular mechanisms by which DHA can modulate inflammatory processes.

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      The ethanolamide metabolite of DHA, docosahexaenoylethanolamine, shows immunomodulating effects in mouse peritoneal and RAW264.7 macrophages: evidence for a new link between fish oil and inflammation
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*Corresponding author: J. Meijerink, fax +31 317 483342, email
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