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Matthew W. Hollar, Diego Espinosa-Heidmann, Peter Saloupis, Askia Dunnon, Peng Hu, Tiffany Pridgen, Larry Koreen, Sara Crowell, Scott W. Cousins; Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Laser-induced Choroidal Neovascularization. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):945.
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To investigate the effects of dietary omega-3 fats on erythrocyte membrane composition and size of experimental lesions in a mouse model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV). We have previously shown that recruitment of circulating monocytes to the choriocapillaris plays a significant role in the development of CNV lesions. As omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory properties, we hypothesized that feeding omega-3 would decrease the size of experimental lesions at baseline and in the setting of an inflammatory stimulus.
Middle-aged C57BL/6 mice were fed either a control or high omega-3 diet for 8 weeks. Following laser-induced CNV, LPS or PBS was injected intraperitoneally and again four days post-laser. On the day of lasering, blood was drawn for analysis of erythrocyte membrane lipids by GC/MS. Two weeks after lasering, eyes were enucleated for flatmount analysis of CNV. The mean lesion surface area for each eye’s four lesions was calculated. This value was averaged for each diet group and expressed in terms of optic disc areas (DAs).
Long chain omega-3 fats increased from 4.7% of erythrocyte membrane fatty acids in the control group to 15.9% in the omega-3 group (p<0.001). Arachidonic acid decreased from 12.9% in the control group to 5.1% in the omega-3 supplemented group (p=0.01). Mean lesion size in the omega-3 group, 2.8 DAs, was less than in the control group, 3.7 DAs (p=0.05). This effect was also seen after treatment with LPS with smaller lesions seen in omega-3 fed animals than in controls.
Short-term feeding with omega-3 appears to effect dramatic change in cellular membrane composition and to reduce experimental lesion size in a mouse model of laser-induced CNV. This protection may be mediated through anti-inflammatory omega-3 metabolites, receptor signaling, or via an antagonistic effect on omega-6. Further study is required to elucidate a specific mechanism and to better characterize whether these experimental effects of dietary omega-3 supplementation may be generalized to a more varied diet.
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