Author(s): Scherer JM, Stillwell W, Jenski LJ
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Abstract Omega-3 fatty acids have diverse health benefits that are not clearly understood. In this study we have examined the effects of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on mitogen-activated and resting splenic lymphocytes. DHA inhibited lymphocyte proliferation, producing an apparent block or prolongation of S phase, without evidence for direct cytotoxicity. In contrast, DHA enhanced the survival of resting lymphocytes in culture without inducing cell cycling. When DHA was added at the start of culture, the survival advantage was apparent for 2 to 3 days, after which time typical lymphocyte attrition occurred. Using flow cytometry we observed that both T and B cell recoveries were increased by DHA, but there were DHA dose-dependent alterations of forward- and side-scatter characteristics, with some preference for B cells, perhaps indicating altered membrane properties. Our data imply that DHA may check ongoing immune response while concurrently preserving resting lymphocytes needed for subsequent immune responses.
This article was published in Cell Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy