Effects of docosahexanoic acid supplementation on inflammatory and subcutaneous adipose tissue gene expression in HIV-infected patients on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). A sub-study of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

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Abstract

Background:

Omega-3 fatty acids have the potential to decrease inflammation and modify gene transcription. Whether docosahexanoic acid (DHA) supplementation can modify systemic inflammatory and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) gene expression in HIV-infected patients is unknown.

Methods:

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that enrolled 84 antiretroviral-treated patients who had fasting TG levels from 2.26 to 5.65 mmol/l and received DHA or placebo for 48 weeks was performed (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02005900). Systemic inflammatory and SAT gene expression was assessed at baseline and at week 48 in 39 patients.

Results:

Patients receiving DHA had a 43.9% median decline in fasting TG levels at week 4 (IQR: −31% to −56%), compared with −2.9% (−18.6% to 16.5%) in the placebo group (P < 0.0001). High sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) and arachidonic acid levels significantly decreased in the DHA group. Adipogenesis-related and mitochondrial-related gene expression did not experience significant changes. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) significantly decreased in the placebo group. SAT inflammation-related gene expression (Tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 [MCP-1]) significantly decreased in the DHA group.

Conclusions:

DHA supplementation down-regulated inflammatory gene expression in SAT. DHA impact on markers of systemic inflammation was restricted to hsCRP and arachidonic acid.

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