Associations of cord blood fatty acids with lymphocyte proliferation, IL-13, and IFN-gamma

Publisher:
Elsevier Inc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2006, 117 (4), pp. 931 - 938
Issue Date:
2006-01
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Background N-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been hypothesized to have opposing influences on neonatal immune responses that might influence the risk of allergy or asthma. However, both n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and n-6 arachidonic acid (AA) are required for normal fetal development. Objective We evaluated whether cord blood fatty acid levels were related to neonatal immune responses and whether n-3 and n-6 PUFA responses differed. Methods We examined the relation of cord blood plasma n-3 and n-6 PUFAs (n = 192) to antigen- and mitogen-stimulated cord blood lymphocyte proliferation (n = 191) and cytokine (IL-13 and IFN-?; n = 167) secretion in a US birth cohort. Results Higher levels of n-6 linoleic acid were correlated with higher IL-13 levels in response to Bla g 2 (cockroach, P = .009) and Der f 1 (dust mite, P = .02). Higher n-3 EPA and n-6 AA levels were each correlated with reduced lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-? levels in response to Bla g 2 and Der f 1 stimulation. Controlling for potential confounders, EPA and AA had similar independent effects on reduced allergen-stimulated IFN-? levels. If neonates had either EPA or AA levels in the highest quartile, their Der f 1 IFN-? levels were 90% lower (P = .0001) than those with both EPA and AA levels in the lowest 3 quartiles. Reduced AA/EPA ratio was associated with reduced allergen-stimulated IFN-? level. Conclusion Increased levels of fetal n-3 EPA and n-6 AA might have similar effects on attenuation of cord blood lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-? secretion. Clinical implications The implications of these findings for allergy or asthma development are not yet known.
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