Dietary consumption of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) may protect against cardiometabolic disease through modulation of systemic and adipose inflammation. However, it is often difficult to detect the subtle effects of n-3 PUFA on inflammatory biomarkers in traditional intervention studies. We aimed to identify novel n-3 PUFA modulated gene expression using unbiased adipose transcriptomics during evoked endotoxemia in a clinical trial of n-3 PUFA supplementation. We analyzed adipose gene expression using RNA sequencing in the fenofibrate and omega-3 fatty acid modulation of endotoxemia (FFAME) trial of healthy individuals at three timepoints: before and after n-3 PUFA supplementation (n=8; 3600mg/day EPA/DHA) for 6weeks compared with placebo (n=6), as well as during a subsequent evoked inflammatory challenge (lipopolysaccharide 0.6ng/kg i.v.). As expected, supplementation with n-3 PUFA vs. placebo alone had only modest effects on adipose tissue gene expression, e.g., increased expression of immediate early response IER2. In contrast, the transcriptomic response to evoked endotoxemia was significantly modified by n-3 PUFA supplementation, with several genes demonstrating significant n-3 PUFA gene-nutrient interactions, e.g., enhanced transcriptional responses in specific immune genes IER5L, HES1, IL1RN, CCL18, IL1RN, IL7R, IL8, CCL3 and others. These data highlight potential mechanisms whereby n-3 PUFA consumption may enhance the immune response to an inflammatory challenge. In conclusion, unbiased transcriptomics during evoked inflammation reveals novel immune modulating functions of n-3 PUFA nutritional intervention in a dynamic pathophysiological setting.
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