Decreased cord blood IL-4, IL-13, and CCR4 and increased TGF-β levels after fish oil supplementation of pregnant women

Susanne Krauss-Etschmann, Dominik Hartl, Peter Rzehak, Joachim Heinrich, Rania Shadid, María del Carmen Ramírez-Tortosa, Cristina Campoy, Susana Pardillo, Dolores J. Schendel, Tamás Decsi, Hans Demmelmair, Berthold V. Koletzko

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101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Altered intakes of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids were suggested to modulate allergic disease, but intervention trials yielded inconclusive results. Because allergies are primed in early infancy and in utero, the fetus might be more accessible to nutritional intervention strategies. Objective: We sought to investigate how supplementation of pregnant women with a fish oil (FO) preparation modulates allergy-related immune parameters in mothers and offspring. Methods: We performed a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Three hundred eleven pregnant women received daily either FO with 0.5 g of docosahexaenoic acid and 0.15 g of eicosapentaenoic acid, 400 μg of methyl-tetra-hydrofolic acid, both, or placebo from the 22nd gestational week. TH1/TH2-related molecules were quantified in 197 maternal and 195 cord blood samples by using real-time RT-PCR. Data are given as geometric means [95% CIs]. Results: FO supplementation was associated with increased TGF-β mRNA in maternal (0.85 [0.8-0.89]; placebo: 0.68 [0.64-0.72]) and cord blood (0.85 [0.81-0.9]; placebo: 0.75 [0.71-0.79]). IL-1 (0.69 [0.66-0.73]; placebo: 0.83 [0.79-0.88]) and IFN-γ (0.54 [0.51-0.57]; placebo: 0.65 [0.61-0.69]) were decreased in mothers only (P < .001). Cord blood mRNA levels of IL-4 (0.54 [0.52-0.57]; placebo: 0.64 [0.61-0.68]), IL-13 (0.61 [0.58-0.65]; placebo: 0.85 [0.80-0.89]), CCR4 (0.70 [0.67-0.73]; placebo: 0.88 [0.84-0.92]; all P < .001), and natural killer (P < .001) and CCR3+CD8+ T cells (P < .04) were decreased in the FO group. Conclusion: Supplementation with FO during pregnancy is associated with decreased mRNA levels of TH2-related molecules in the fetus and decreased maternal inflammatory cytokines. We speculate that both effects are mediated by TGF-β.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-470.e6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

Keywords

  • Pregnancy
  • allergy
  • cord blood
  • cytokine
  • fish oil
  • folate
  • neonate
  • trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Krauss-Etschmann, S., Hartl, D., Rzehak, P., Heinrich, J., Shadid, R., del Carmen Ramírez-Tortosa, M., Campoy, C., Pardillo, S., Schendel, D. J., Decsi, T., Demmelmair, H., & Koletzko, B. V. (2008). Decreased cord blood IL-4, IL-13, and CCR4 and increased TGF-β levels after fish oil supplementation of pregnant women. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 121(2), 464-470.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2007.09.018