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Effects of dietary n-6 and n-3 fatty acids and vitamin E on the immune response of healthy geriatric dogs

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  • 1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802.
  • | 2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802.
  • | 3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802.
  • | 4 Science and Technology Center, Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc, 1035 NE 43rd St, Topeka, KS 66617-1587.
  • | 5 Department of Nutrition and Foodservice Systems, School of Human Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratios and α-tocopheryl acetate concentration on immune functions and T cell subpopulations in healthy dogs.

Animals—Thirty-two 7- to 10-year old female Beagles.

Procedure—For 17 weeks, dogs were fed food that contained low (1.4:1) or high (40:1) ratios of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids in combination with 3 concentrations of all rac-α-tocopheryl acetate (low, 17 mg/kg of food; medium, 101 mg/kg; high, 447 mg/kg). Dogs were inoculated twice with a keyhole limpet hemocyanin suspension at 13 and 15 weeks.

Results—After 12 weeks, dogs consuming low concentrations of α-tocopheryl acetate had lower percentages of CD8+ T cells, compared with dogs consuming medium or high α-tocopheryl acetate concentrations. Also, dogs consuming low α-tocopheryl acetate concentrations had higher CD4+ to CD8+ T cell ratios. On day 4 of week 15, the percentage of CD8+ T cells was highest in dogs fed medium concentrations of α-tocopheryl acetate, compared with other dogs; however, the CD4+ to CD8+ T cell ratio was higher only in dogs fed low concentrations of α- tocopheryl acetate with high concentrations of n-3 fatty acids. Dogs consuming low concentrations of n- 3 fatty acids with medium concentrations of α-tocopheryl acetate had the largest delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin test response.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An optimum amount of dietary α-tocopheryl acetate concentration, regardless of the dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratio, stimulates the CD8+ T cell population. Effects of an optimum amount of dietary α-tocopheryl acetate concentration on the DTH response are blunted by dietary n-3 fatty acids. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:762–772)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratios and α-tocopheryl acetate concentration on immune functions and T cell subpopulations in healthy dogs.

Animals—Thirty-two 7- to 10-year old female Beagles.

Procedure—For 17 weeks, dogs were fed food that contained low (1.4:1) or high (40:1) ratios of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids in combination with 3 concentrations of all rac-α-tocopheryl acetate (low, 17 mg/kg of food; medium, 101 mg/kg; high, 447 mg/kg). Dogs were inoculated twice with a keyhole limpet hemocyanin suspension at 13 and 15 weeks.

Results—After 12 weeks, dogs consuming low concentrations of α-tocopheryl acetate had lower percentages of CD8+ T cells, compared with dogs consuming medium or high α-tocopheryl acetate concentrations. Also, dogs consuming low α-tocopheryl acetate concentrations had higher CD4+ to CD8+ T cell ratios. On day 4 of week 15, the percentage of CD8+ T cells was highest in dogs fed medium concentrations of α-tocopheryl acetate, compared with other dogs; however, the CD4+ to CD8+ T cell ratio was higher only in dogs fed low concentrations of α- tocopheryl acetate with high concentrations of n-3 fatty acids. Dogs consuming low concentrations of n- 3 fatty acids with medium concentrations of α-tocopheryl acetate had the largest delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin test response.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An optimum amount of dietary α-tocopheryl acetate concentration, regardless of the dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratio, stimulates the CD8+ T cell population. Effects of an optimum amount of dietary α-tocopheryl acetate concentration on the DTH response are blunted by dietary n-3 fatty acids. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:762–772)