A comparative study:In vitroeffects of EPA and DHA on immune functions of head-kidney macrophages isolated from large yellow croaker (Larmichthys crocea)

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Comparative effects of different concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on immune responses of head-kidney macrophages isolated from large yellow croaker were studied in vitro. After exposing to serum-free medium for 1 day, cultured cells were incubated in medium supplemented with graded levels of EPA or DHA (0, 5, 25, 100, 200 and 1000 μM, respectively) in the form of fatty acid bovine serum albumin (FA-BSA) complex for 12 h, 24 h and 36 h, respectively. Control samples were incubated in the absence of EPA or DHA (2% bovine serum albumin, BSA). Following stimulation, cell viability, lipid peroxidation, secretary phopholipase A2 (sPLA2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production as well as some immune parameters including phagocytosis, respiratory burst activity and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) production were determined. Results showed that EPA and DHA affected cell viability in dose-dependent and time-dependent manners. In particular, cell viability was significantly decreased after 24 h and 36 h incubation with 1000 μM EPA or DHA (P < 0.05). Higher levels of EPA (200 and 1000 μM) caused a significant increase in the production of malondialdehyde (MDA) (P < 0.05), while DHA did not significantly affect the MDA production. EPA significantly increased the intracellular superoxide anion synthesis which, on the contrary, was significantly reduced by DHA. Phagocytosis percentage (PP) values were significantly higher in treatments with 5 μM DHA (P < 0.05), but significantly decreased by 200 and 1000 μM EPA and DHA compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Decreased PGE2 production was produced by cells treated with relatively low doses of EPA or DHA. When high levels of stimulants (1000 μM EPA or DHA) were used, PGE2 levels were elevated and reached a significant level (P < 0.05). Both EPA and DHA significantly inhibited the production of sPLA2, where DHA exerted the more potent inhibitory effects than EPA. No pronounced effect was observed on IL-1β production among all the treatments, and IL-1β level in cell culture supernatant was fairly low (only approximately 6 pg/ml). Those findings suggested that EPA and DHA could influence the immunity and physiological conditions of macrophages from head kidney of large yellow croaker in vitro.

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