Alteration of in vitro murine peritoneal macrophage function by dietary enrichment with eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in menhaden fish oil. Academic Article uri icon


  • The effects of diets containing menhaden fish oil (MFO), compared with those of diets containing safflower oil (SAF) or an essential fatty acid deficient hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO), on in vitro activation of tumoricidal capacity by murine macrophages were assessed. Mice fed the experimental diets for 4 weeks were injected intraperitoneally with sterile thioglycollate broth 3 days before use. There was no difference between any of the groups with respect to total peritoneal exudate cells or the percentage of macrophages, although the fatty acid profile of purified adherent macrophages closely paralleled that of the diets. Macrophages from mice fed MFO killed fewer P815 mastocytoma cells upon activation with recombinant interferon gamma (IFN gamma) and lipopolysaccharide. Macrophages from all diets were equally competent for tumoricidal capacity when activated pharmacologically with calcium ionophore, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), suggesting that MFO diet macrophages were hyporesponsive to IFN gamma. Priming with higher concentrations of IFN gamma restored the partial defect in activation of MFO macrophages. When activated for 24 hr with high levels of LPS, macrophages from mice fed SAF displayed little cytolytic capacity; addition of indomethacin. (1 microM) resulted in enhanced levels of P815 kill. In contrast, MFO and HCO diet macrophages were highly cytolytic with similar LPS treatment with or without indomethacin. Macrophages from mice fed SAF produced threefold more prostaglandin E in response to LPS than did MFO and HCO diet macrophages. These results suggest that dietary manipulation of fatty acids can alter activation of tumoricidal capacity of macrophages, possibly both dependent and independent of changes in eicosanoid synthesis.

published proceedings

  • Cell Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Somers, S. D., Chapkin, R. S., & Erickson, K. L.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Somers, SD||Chapkin, RS||Erickson, KL

publication date

  • October 1989