Dietary γ-linolenic acid dose-dependently modifies fatty acid composition and immune parameters in rats

S. Kaku, K. Ohkura, S. Yunoki, M. Nonaka, H. Tachibana, M. Sugano, K. Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


γ-Linolenic acid (GLA) has been reported to improve several inflammatory disorders through regulation of eicosanoid production. However, since GLA is a precursor of arachidonic acid, it may bring about increasing tissue arachidonic acid levels with subsequent pro-inflammatory events. To explore this possibility, we examined the effect of high-dose GLA acid on the fatty acid profile of immune cells, leukotriene B4 production by peritoneal exudate cells and immunoglobulin productivity of mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes of Sprague-Dawley rats. Male rats were fed 10% fat diets containing graded levels, 0, 20, 40 and 60% of GLA for 3 weeks. The results showed the distinction in activity of metabolizing GLA between immune cells and liver. Thus, in immune cells such as mesenteric lymph node and spleen lymphocytes and peritoneal exudate cells, more dihomo-γ-linolenic acid was found than in the liver. Leukotriene B4 production by peritoneal exudate cells was significantly suppressed when fed the highest level of GLA suggesting a lower risk of allergic reaction. Moreover, immunoglobulin productivity in mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes was promoted by dietary GLA. The present study indicates that a high dose of GLA may exert anti-inflammatory effects through suppression of leukotriene B4 release and strengthening of gut immune system, thus ameliorating allergic reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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