Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry

Dietary effects of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid esters on lipid metabolism and immune parameters in Sprague-Dawley rats.

PMID 11210121


Sprague-Dawley rats were fed eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ethyl esters at the 2% level for 3 weeks to clarify their effects on immune functions. In the rats fed EPA or DHA, serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid (PL) levels were significantly lower than those in the rats fed safflower oil. In PL fractions of serum, liver, lung, splenocytes, and peritoneal exudate cells (PEC), increases in linoleic and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid contents and a decrease in arachidonic acid (AA) content were observed in the rats fed EPA or DHA. In addition, the EPA content increased in the rats fed EPA and DHA. In the rats fed EPA or DHA, a decrease of LTB4 productivity and an increase of LTBs productivity were observed in the PEC, in response to the treatment with 5 microM calcium ionophore A23187 for 20 min. The changes in leukotriene production were more marked in EPA-fed rats than in DHA-fed rats. These results suggest that dietary EPA affects lipid metabolism and leukotriene synthesis more strongly than DHA.