A comparative study: Difference in omega-6/omega-3 balance and saturated fat in diets for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) affect immune-, fat metabolism-, oxidative and apoptotic-gene expression, and eicosanoid secretion in head kidney leukocytes

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The aim of this study was to compare how different dietary vegetable oil n-6/n-3 ratios affect gene responses involved in inflammation, signaling pathways, fatty acid synthesis and oxidation, oxidation and apoptosis as well as eicosanoid production in salmon head kidney tissues and isolated head kidney leukocytes. Salmon smolts (200 g) were fed four different diets where the main lipid components were palm oil (n-6/n-3 ratio = 0.7), rapeseed oil (n-6/n-3 ratio = 0.9), and soybean oil (n-6/n-3 ratio = 2.4) and a high soybean oil diet with an n-6/n-3 ratio = 4. Both head kidney tissue and leukocytes isolated from head kidneys were sampled from the four diets, but from different fish. Leukocytes isolated from the head kidneys were seeded into culture wells and added lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce inflammatory responses. Controls without LPS were included. Head kidney leukocytes and the tissues should have the same phenotype reflecting the different diets. Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) transcription was elevated in head kidney tissue and especially in LPS treated leukocytes isolated from soybean oil (n-6/n-3 = 2.4) fed salmon, which confirmed the suitability of the in vitro model in this experiment. Leukocytes, treated with LPS, and isolated from salmon fed the soybean oil diet (n-6/n-3 = 2.4) also upregulated tumor necrosis factor alpha (tnf-α), cyclooxygenase (cox2), prostaglandin D and E synthase (ptgds, ptges), fatty acyl synthase (fas), 5 and 6 desaturases (5des, 6 des) and a fatty acid translocase protein (cd36) when compared to the other diets. The results suggest that diets with a specific n-6/n-3 ratio influence the transcription of pro-inflammatory genes and may be cross-linked to transcription of selected fatty acid metabolism genes. Salmon fed the palm oil diet (n-6/n-3 = 0.7) showed a lower expression of inflammatory genes. Instead, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor β1 (pparβ1), acyl coenzyme A (aco), apoptosis regulator (bax) and superoxide dismutase (sod) were upregulated in leukocytes in vitro, while head kidney tissue transcription of a dendritic marker (cd83) was lower than measured in tissues from fish fed the other diets. The concentration of LTB4 (10–20 ng/mL) were relatively constant in leukocyte supernatants, all diets. Head kidney leukocytes from soybean oil (n-6/n-3 = 2.4) fed fish produced LPS induced PGE2 (mean 0.5 ng/mL) while leukocytes isolated from palm oil diet (n-6/n-3 = 0.7) secreted very high amounts of LTB5 (50–70 ng/mL). In addition, equal amounts of LPS induced PGE2 and PGE3 (mean 0, 5 ng/mL) were produced, indicating that the n-6/n-3 ratio of this saturated fatty acid may have a specific impact on eicosanoid production in the head kidney of salmon.

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