Effect of dietary n-3 fatty acids on hypoxia-induced necrotizing enterocolitis in young mice - n-3 fatty acids alter platelet-activating factor and leukotriene B-4 production in the intestine


BIOLOGY OF THE NEONATE, vol.74, no.1, pp.31-38, 1998 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 74 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000014008
  • Title of Journal : BIOLOGY OF THE NEONATE
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-38


Necrotizing entercolitis (NEC) is an important neonatal disease with a high mortality rate. Inflammatory mediators, such as mainly platelet-activating factor (PAF), leukotrienes (LT) and tumor necrosis factor play an important role in the genesis of NEC. Diets in Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids appear to have an antiinflammatory effect, which is thought to be due to decreased active prostaglandins and leukotrienes production after incorporation of these fatty acids into cell membrane phospholipids. We investigated the protective effect of fish oil (source of n-3 fatty acids) on hypoxia-induced model of NEC. Young mice were divided into three groups; group 1 mice were fed standard chow (n-3 fatty acids-free), group 2 was fed a chow supplemented by 10% fish oil for 4 weeks. Group 3 mice served as control. We examined the intestinal lesions by light microscopy and measured intestinal tissue PAF and LB4 levels in hypoxia-induced model of NEC. Significantly increased intestinal PAF and LTB4 levels were found in group 1 mice when compared to group 2 and group 3 mice. The histopathology of the intestinal lesions in group 1 animals was characteristic of ischemic injury. In the n-3 fatty acids-supplemented animals these lesions were milder. The present study shows that endogenously released PAF and LTB4 play an important role in mediating hypoxia-induced intestinal necrosis. The present study also suggests that dietary supple mentation with n-3 fatty acids suppress intestinal PAF and LTB4 generation in hypoxia-induced bowel necrosis. The intestinal protective effect of n-3 fatty acids in an experimental model of NEC may open new insight into the treatment and preventation of NEC in neonates.