We previously showed that dietary omega (ω)–3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) suppress inflammation in mice with experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). We have now investigated the role of antigen presenting cells (APCs) in this action of ω-3 LCPUFAs. C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet supplemented with ω-3 or ω-6 LCPUFAs for 2 weeks, after which splenocytes were isolated from the mice and cocultured with CD4+ T cells isolated from mice with EAU induced by injection of a human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein peptide together with complete Freund’s adjuvant. The proliferation of and production of interferon-γ and interleukin-17 by T cells from EAU mice in vitro were attenuated in the presence of splenocytes from ω-3 LCPUFA–fed mice as compared with those from mice fed ω-6 LCPUFAs. Splenocyte fractionation by magnetic-activated cell sorting revealed that, among APCs, dendritic cells (DCs) were the target of ω-3 LCPUFAs. Adoptive transfer of DCs from mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs attenuated disease progression in EAU mice as well as the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by T cells isolated from these latter animals. The proliferation of T cells from control Balb/c mice was also attenuated in the presence of DCs from ω-3 LCPUFA–fed mice as compared with those from ω-6 LCPUFA–fed mice. Furthermore, T cell proliferation in such a mixed lymphocyte reaction was inhibited by prior exposure of DCs from mice fed an ω-6 LCPUFA diet to ω-3 LCPUFAs in vitro. Our results thus suggest that DCs mediate the anti-inflammatory action of dietary ω-3 LCPUFAs in EAU.
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