Effects of ω-3 Fatty Acids on Toll-like Receptor 4 and Nuclear Factor κB p56 in the Pancreas of Rats With Severe Acute Pancreatitis

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The aims of this study were to determine the effects of ω-3 fatty acids (ω-3FAs) on the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/nuclear factor κB p56 (NF-κBp56) signaling pathway in the pancreas of rats with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).


Sixty-four Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: the control, SAP-saline, SAP–soybean oil, and SAP–ω-FA groups. Severe acute pancreatitis was induced by the retrograde infusion of sodium taurocholate into the pancreatic duct. The expression of TLR4 and NF-κBp56 in the pancreas was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. The levels of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor α in the pancreas were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.


Toll-like receptor 4, NF-κBp56, and inflammatory cytokine expression in the pancreas was increased significantly in the SAP group compared with that in the control group (P < 0.05), but was significantly decreased in the ω-3FA group compared with that in the soybean oil group at 24 and 48 hours (P < 0.05).


Our results suggest that during the initial stage of SAP ω-3FAs could efficiently lower the inflammatory response by activating the TLR4/NF-κBp56 signaling pathway.

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