The (n-3) PUFA, DHA, Inhibits the Adhesion of Flowing Neutrophils to Cytokine Stimulated Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells.

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The (n-3) PUFA, DHA, is widely thought to posses the ability to modulate the inflammatory response. However, its modes of interaction with inflammatory cells are poorly understood. In particular, there are limited data on the interactions of DHA with vascular endothelium, the cells that regulate the traffic of leukocytes from the blood into inflamed tissue. Using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EC) cultured in a flow-based adhesion assay and activated with TNFα, we tested whether supplementing human umbilical vein EC with physiologically achievable concentrations of DHA would inhibit the recruitment of flowing neutrophils. DHA caused a dose-dependent reduction in neutrophil recruitment to the EC surface, although cells that became adherent were activated and could migrate across the human umbilical vein EC monolayer normally. Using EPA as an alternative supplement had no effect on the levels of neutrophil adhesion in this assay. Analysis of adhesion receptor expression by qPCR demonstrated that DHA did not alter the transcriptional activity of human umbilical vein EC. However, DHA did significantly reduce E-selectin expression at the human umbilical vein EC surface without altering the total cellular pool of this adhesion receptor. Thus, we have identified a novel mechanism by which DHA alters the trafficking of leukocytes during inflammation and demonstrate that this involves disruption of intracellular transport mechanisms used to present adhesion molecules on the surface of cytokine-stimulated EC.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2011