Posts Tagged ‘inflammation’

Omega-3 research sheds light on inflammation trigger

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

BBSRC-funded scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a previously unknown step in early inflammation which is controlled by omega –3 and omega –6 fatty acids, potentially leading to clarification around conflicting health and diet advice on these two essential nutrients.

Dr Ed Rainger, from the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences at the University, has discovered that a key product in the metabolism of omega –6 fatty acids is an essential signal for neutrophils (white blood cells that form an essential part of the immune system) to cross the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels, to work on inflammation.

Dr Rainger says the findings of the study, funded by BBSRC and the British Heart Foundation, will open up new possibilities: “The identification of these novel mechanisms by which inflammation is regulated may allow us to develop new therapies to intervene when the process of inflammation becomes pathological rather than physiological.”

These latest discoveries bolster the evidence that fish oils have anti-inflammatory effects in addition to other health benefits. Dr Rainger and his team have revealed new steps in the body’s response to tackling inflammation which researchers hope will lead to designing potential new drugs to tackle severe and chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The team also found that the migration of neutrophils could be blocked by the increased levels of omega -3 generated after the endothelial cells had been supplemented with this omega –3 fatty acid.

Dr Rainger and his team conducted the study using a realistic, flow based system that models the process of inflammation at the interface of the circulating blood and inflamed tissue. They were then able to observe the effects of physiological levels of omega –3 and omega –6 fatty acids on the process of recruiting inflammatory blood cells such as neutrophils into the tissue. This process is regulated by endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.

Dr Ed Rainger, said: “Our findings are very significant. They support the idea that omega–6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory – that they are required to sustain a normal inflammatory response without which we would be prone to serious infection and tissue damage.”

Conversely, Dr Rainger has uncovered mechanistic evidence that supports the anti-inflammatory role of omega -3 fatty acids: “We’ve all heard about the health benefits of eating oily fish, and its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, possibly due to their anti inflammatory properties, yet little is known about the normal cellular mechanisms by which omega –3 fatty acids produce their protective effects.”

Nutritionists believe that imbalances in omega –3 and –6 – may explain the rise of diseases such as asthma, coronary heart disease, cancers, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body.

Paper: Fatty acids and Inflammation: novel interactions reveal a new step in neutrophil recruitment is published in PLoS Biology on 25 August.

Omega3 a key anti inflammatory

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Inflammation is a natural reaction by the body to allow itself to repair and is infact a key defense mechanism. It is a reaction to a number of factors such as injury , infection , allergens and chronic disease.
The body when it is under attack by one or more of these factors creates a cellular reaction – the cells effectively upregulate production of numerous molecules and as a result there is redness, swelling and pain in the tissue involved. When this happens immune cells go to the site of the inflammation where they help to destroy and get rid of the offending stimuli.
The acute inflammatory response is usually self limiting and an integral part of the healing process . However if this does get out of control the inflammation can damage tissues and hinder the body’s repair mechanisms and as a result chronic disease can be the result such as osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, . Chronic inflammation is implicated in a large number of systemic disorders including hearrt disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension , diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, neurodegeneration . It is therefore essential for good health to maintain a properly modulated metabolic pathway as it is the metabolic pathways that lead to overproduction of inflammatory mediators.
Conventional treatment of pro inflammatory conditions and diseases typically involves the use of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs – however these are not always effective and can have serious implications on gastrointestinal , renal , cardio health with regards the side effects. As a result of this research is ongoing looking at more natural ways to treat inflammation – one of the most consistent performers in this is omega3 specifically EPA which has been shown to have perhaps the most powerful ability to modulate key inflammatory mediators such as COX-2.

Omega 3 stronger than any other anti inflammatory

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti-inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects”

Omega-3s may reduce inflammation by acting on a receptor found in fat tissue and on inflammatory immune cells called macrophages, according to research.

The new research published in the journal Cell, suggests the mechanisms behind omega-3’s actions as an anti-inflammatory are due to its action on G-protein-coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) working as an omega-3  FA receptor/sensor.

“Omega-3s are very potent activators of GPR120 on macrophages – more potent than any other anti-inflammatory we’ve ever seen,” said lead researcher Dr Jerrold Olefsky of the University of California, San Diego.

Anti-inflammatory

Omega-3 fatty acids have been long associated with anti-inflammatory effects; however the mechanisms behind such effects have been poorly understood.

GPR120 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCRs) – part of a group involved in many important cell functions, and is the target of many drugs.

Previous research has suggested that five GPCRs – including GPR120 included – respond well respond to free fatty acids.

Since chronic tissue inflammation is linked to insulin resistance in obesity, the researchers used GPR120 knock-out mice to investigate if omega-3 leads to GPR120-mediated anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing effects in vivo.

Robust effect

Researchers found that GPR120 functions as an omega-3 receptor in pro-inflammatory macrophages and mature adipocytes.

When knock-out mice were fed a high-fat diet and treated with omega-3 fatty acids, they showed all the signs of inflammation and the insulin resistance that leads to diabetes with omega-3 having no effect.

Normal mice on a high-fat diet still gained weight, however, omega-3s “had a really robust effect in preventing inflammation,” Olefsky said.

The study also observed that by signalling through GPR120, omega-3 fatty acids mediate potent anti-inflammatory effects to inhibit certain key inflammatory signaling pathways.

The study reports that omega-3 treatment was as effective – or in some cases more effective – than the popular insulin-sensitizing drug Rosiglitazone.

The researchers noted that activation of GPR120 by omega-3s blocks not one, but all inflammatory pathways.

Interpretation

Olefsky said his team focused on GPR120 from the beginning because of where it is found – in fat tissue and on macrophages. Olefsky noted that if your goal is to fight inflammation then “that’s just where you’d want them to be expressed.”

How these findings can be interpreted for humans is not yet clear, but with a growing trend in omega-3 supplementation and increased dietary intakes of omega-3 a goal for many consumers.

Olefski says it is too early to make any formal reccomendations at the moment, but highlights that he does not see any problem with people taking omega-3 supplementations “as long as it isn’t in enormous doses.”

Olefski said that further research needs to be conducted into several – currently unknown – omega-3 mechanisms. For one, omega-3s seems to block the migration of macrophage cells into tissues – “It’s a remarkable effect, and we don’t know its action,” he added.

Source: Cell

Vol 142(5) pp. 687 – 698, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.07.041

“GPR120 Is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Receptor Mediating Potent Anti-inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects”


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