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Dietary supplementation of arachidonic acid increases arachidonic acid and lipoxin A4 contents in colon, but does not affect severity or prostaglandin E2 content in murine colitis model

Norifumi Tateishi1*, Saki Kakutani1, Hiroshi Kawashima1, Hiroshi Shibata1 and Ikuo Morita2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Health Care Science, Suntory Wellness Ltd, 1-1-1 Wakayamadai, Shimamoto, Osaka 6188503, Japan

2 Department of Cellular Physiological Chemistry, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:30  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-30

Published: 10 February 2014



Arachidonic acid (ARA) is an essential fatty acid and a major constituent of biomembranes. It is converted into various lipid mediators, such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and lipoxin A4 (LXA4). The effects of dietary ARA on colon maintenance are unclear because PGE2 has both mucosal protective and proinflammatory effects, and LXA4 has an anti-inflammatory role. Our objective is to clarify the effects of dietary ARA on an experimental murine colitis model.


C57BL/6 mice were fed three types of ARA diet (0.075%, 0.15% or 0.305% ARA in diet), DHA diet (0.315% DHA) or control diet for 6 weeks, and were then administered dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) for 7 days to induce colitis. We evaluated colitis severity, fatty acid and lipid mediator contents in colonic tissue, and the expression of genes related to lipid mediator formation.


ARA composition of colon phospholipids was significantly elevated in an ARA dose-dependent manner. ARA, as well as DHA, did not affect colitis severity (body weight loss, colon shortening, diarrhea and hemoccult phenomena) and histological features. PGE2 contents in the colon were unchanged by dietary ARA, while LXA4 contents increased in an ARA dose-dependent manner. Gene expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 was unchanged, while that of 12/15-lipoxgenase (LOX) was significantly increased by dietary ARA. ARA composition did not correlate with neither colon length nor PGE2 contents, but significantly correlated with LXA4 content.


These results suggest that dietary ARA increases ARA and LXA4 contents in colon, but that it has no effect on severity and PGE2 content in a DSS-induced murine colitis model.

Arachidonic acid; Colitis; Prostaglandin E2; Lipoxin A4