Effects of dietary n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and vitamin E on the immune response of healthy geriatric dogs.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802, USA.
American Journal of Veterinary Research (Impact Factor: 1.21). 07/2003; 64(6):762-72. DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.2003.64.762
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the effect of dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratios and alpha-tocopheryl acetate concentration on immune functions andT cell subpopulations in healthy dogs.
Thirty-two 7- to 10-year old female Beagles.
For 17 weeks, dogs were fed food that contained low (1.4:1) or high (40:1) ratios of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids in combination with 3 concentrations of all rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (low, 17 mg/kg of food; medium, 101 mg/kg; high, 447 mg/kg). Dogs were inoculated twice with a keyhole limpet hemocyanin suspension at 13 and 15 weeks.
After 12 weeks, dogs consuming low concentrations of alpha-tocopheryl acetate had lower percentages of CD8+ T cells, compared with dogs consuming medium or high alpha-tocopheryl acetate concentrations. Also, dogs consuming low alpha-tocopheryl acetate concentrations had higher CD4+ to CD8+ T cell ratios. On day 4 of week 15, the percentage of CD8+ T cells was highest in dogs fed medium concentrations of alpha-tocopheryl acetate, compared with other dogs; however, the CD4+ to CD8+ T cell ratio was higher only in dogs fed low concentrations of alpha-tocopheryl acetate with high concentrations of n-3 fatty acids. Dogs consuming low concentrations of n-3 fatty acids with medium concentrations of alpha-tocopheryl acetate had the largest delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin test response.
An optimum amount of dietary alpha-tocopheryl acetate concentration, regardless of the dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratio, stimulates the CD8+ T cell population. Effects of an optimum amount of dietary alpha-tocopheryl acetate concentration on the DTH response are blunted by dietary n-3 fatty acids.

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