Influence of an ω-3 fatty acid-enriched ration on in vivo responses of horses to endotoxin

Michelle M. Henry From the Departments of Large Animal Medicine (Henry, Moore, Fischer) and Physiology (Henry, Moore), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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James N. Moore From the Departments of Large Animal Medicine (Henry, Moore, Fischer) and Physiology (Henry, Moore), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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J. Kay Fischer From the Departments of Large Animal Medicine (Henry, Moore, Fischer) and Physiology (Henry, Moore), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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SUMMARY

Because certain inflammatory processes are dependent on the fatty acid composition of the cellular membrane, dietary manipulations that replace ω-6 fatty acids with ω-3 fatty acids may modify inflammatory responses. We investigated the effect of supplemental dietary linseed oil, containing the ω-3 fatty acid, α-linolenic acid, on in vivo responses of horses to endotoxin. One group of horses (n = 6) was fed a control pelleted ration (0% linseed oil), and another group of horses (n = 6) was fed an 8% linseed oil pelleted ration. After 8 weeks of consuming these rations, all horses were given 0.03 μg of Escherichia coli 055:B5 endotoxin/kg of body weight, infused over 30 minutes. Horses were monitored over 24 hours. Compared with baseline values within each ration group, endotoxin infusion caused significant (P < 0.05) increase in rectal temperature, heart rate, and plasma concentration of thromboxane B2, 6-keto-prostaglandin F, and fibrinogen and significant (P < 0.05) decrease in total WBC count. Compared with baseline values within each ration group, endotoxin infusion failed to cause significant changes in prothrombin, activated partial thromboplastin, thrombin, or whole blood recalcification times, serum concentration of fibrin degradation products, pcv, or plasma total protein concentration. Before and after endotoxin infusion, horses given the linseed oil ration had longer mean whole blood recalcification time and activated partial thromboplastin time than did horses fed the control ration.

SUMMARY

Because certain inflammatory processes are dependent on the fatty acid composition of the cellular membrane, dietary manipulations that replace ω-6 fatty acids with ω-3 fatty acids may modify inflammatory responses. We investigated the effect of supplemental dietary linseed oil, containing the ω-3 fatty acid, α-linolenic acid, on in vivo responses of horses to endotoxin. One group of horses (n = 6) was fed a control pelleted ration (0% linseed oil), and another group of horses (n = 6) was fed an 8% linseed oil pelleted ration. After 8 weeks of consuming these rations, all horses were given 0.03 μg of Escherichia coli 055:B5 endotoxin/kg of body weight, infused over 30 minutes. Horses were monitored over 24 hours. Compared with baseline values within each ration group, endotoxin infusion caused significant (P < 0.05) increase in rectal temperature, heart rate, and plasma concentration of thromboxane B2, 6-keto-prostaglandin F, and fibrinogen and significant (P < 0.05) decrease in total WBC count. Compared with baseline values within each ration group, endotoxin infusion failed to cause significant changes in prothrombin, activated partial thromboplastin, thrombin, or whole blood recalcification times, serum concentration of fibrin degradation products, pcv, or plasma total protein concentration. Before and after endotoxin infusion, horses given the linseed oil ration had longer mean whole blood recalcification time and activated partial thromboplastin time than did horses fed the control ration.

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