Fish oil diet affects on oxidative senescence of red blood cells linked to degeneration of spleen cells in mice

Motoko Oarada, Hiroshi Furukawa, Toshiro Majima, Teruo Miyazawa

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and α-tocopherol supplementation on erythrocyte lipid peroxidation and immunocompetent cells in mice was studied comparatively using seven dietary oils (15% oil/diet, w/w) including fish oil rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5, n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6, n-3). A 43% increase in spleen weight, about twice as many spleen cells and no change in the subpopulations of spleen cells, as well as a significant depression of mitogen-induced blastogenesis of both T and B cells in the spleen were observed in mice fed fish oil for 30 days in comparison with soybean oil diet-fed mice. In the fish oil diet-fed mice, membranous lipid hydroperoxide (hydroperoxides of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine) accumulation as a marker of oxidative senescence in red blood cells (RBC) was 2.7-3.5 times higher than that in mice fed soybean oil, although there was no difference in the plasma phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide concentration. In spite of the supplementation of α-tocopherol to up to 10 times the level in the basal diet, the degeneration of spleen cells and the stimulated oxidative senescence of RBC found by the fish oil feeding could not be prevented. The results suggest that oral intake of excess polyunsaturated fatty acids, i.e. EPA and DHA, in a fish oil diet can lead to acceleration of membrane lipid peroxidation resulting in RBC senescence linked to the lowering of immune response of spleen cells, and that supplementation of α-tocopherol as antioxidant does not always effectively prevent such oxidative degeneration as observed in spleen cells and RBC in vivo. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug 24


  • α-Tocopherol
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Fish oil
  • Immunocompetent cell
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Red blood cell
  • Senescence


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