Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

The effect of different fatty acids on markers of inflammation in hypothalamic neurons (373)

Lynda Williams 1 , D E Kahn 1 , D Sergi 1 , J E Drew 1
  1. Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Background/Aims: A high-fat diet (HFD) is known to cause inflammation in the hypothalamus of rodents. Microglia, the resident immune-reactive cells and astrocytes are involved in this process. However, it is unclear whether these cells initiate the response, or are activated as a result of inflammation in neurons. Our aim was to investigate the effects of different fatty acids on a marker of inflammation (IL-6) in hypothalamic neurons.

Methods: We treated hypothalamic neurons mHypoE-N42 (N42) with different fatty acids and mixtures of fatty acids at physiological concentrations (200 µM) and measured IL-6 gene expression using semi-quantitative Real-Time PCR. Differences between groups were tested using Student’s t-tests.

Results: Palmitic acid (16:0) and decanoic acid (10:0) upregulated IL-6 (P<0.001) whiledocosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (22:6 n-3) and oleic acid (18:1 n-9) downregulated IL-6 (P<0.001). Eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) (20:5 n-3), lauric acid (12:0) and octanoic acid (8:0) had no effect on IL-6 expression. When administered in combination with palmitic acid, both EPA and lauric acid were able to reduce PA induced inflammation (P<0.01 and P<0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: This study shows that fatty acids varying in chain length and degree of saturation elicit different outcomes in expression of the inflammatory marker IL-6 in neurons and confirm the well-documented anti-inflammatory effect of oleic acid and the polyunsaturated fatty acids, DHA and EPA, revealing differential effects, with DHA inhibiting inflammation and EPA reverting pre-existing inflammation.

Funding source(s): Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) and a Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA MSD) studentship