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Open Access Research

Mammary inflammation around parturition appeared to be attenuated by consumption of fish oil rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

Sen Lin, Jia Hou, Fang Xiang, Xiaoling Zhang, Lianqiang Che, Yan Lin, Shengyu Xu, Gang Tian, Qiufeng Zeng, Bing Yu, Keying Zhang, Daiwen Chen, De Wu and Zhengfeng Fang*

Author Affiliations

Key Laboratory for Animal Disease Resistance Nutrition of the Ministry of Education of China, Animal Nutrition Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Sichuan, Ya’an 625014, China

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2013, 12:190  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-12-190

Published: 31 December 2013

Abstract

Background

Mastitis endangers the health of domestic animals and humans, and may cause problems concerning food safety. It is documented that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) play significant roles in attenuating saturated fatty acids (SFA)-induced inflammation. This study was therefore conducted to determine whether mammary inflammation could be affected by consumption of diets rich in n-3 PUFA.

Methods

Forty-eight rats after mating began to receive diets supplemented with 5% fish oil (FO) or 7% soybean oil (SO). Blood and mammary tissue samples (n = 6) at day 0 and 14 of gestation and day 3 postpartum were collected 9 hours after intramammary infusion of saline or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to determine free fatty acids (FFA) concentration and FA composition in plasma and inflammation mediators in mammary tissues.

Results

At day 14 of gestation and day 3 postpartum, the FO-fed rats had lower plasma concentrations of C18:2n6, C20:4n6, total n-6 PUFA and SFA, and higher plasma concentrations of C20:5n3 and total n-3 PUFA than the SO-fed rats. Plasma C22:6n3 concentration was also higher in the FO-fed than in the SO-fed rats at day 3 postpartum. Compared with the SO-fed rats, the FO-fed rats had lower mammary mRNA abundance of xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) and protein level of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, but had higher mammary mRNA abundances of interleukin (IL)-10 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ at day 14 of gestation. Following LPS infusion at day 3 postpartum, the SO-fed rats had increased plasma concentrations of FFA, C18:1n9, C18:3n3, C18:2n6 and total n-6 PUFA, higher mammary mRNA abundances of IL-1β, TNF-α and XOR but lower mammary mRNA abundance of IL-10 than the FO-fed rats.

Conclusions

Mammary inflammation around parturition appeared to be attenuated by consumption of a diet rich in n-3 PUFA, which was associated with up-regulated expression of IL-10 and PPAR-γ.

Keywords:
Mastitis; n-3 PUFA; Inflammatory cytokines; IL-10; PPAR-γ