, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 561–568

Effects of n−3 and n−6 fatty acids on the activities and expression of hepatic antioxidant enzymes in autoimmune-prone NZB×NZW F1 mice

  • Jaya T. Venkatraman
  • Bysani Chandrasekar
  • Jong Dai Kim
  • Gabriel Fernandes

DOI: 10.1007/BF02536628

Cite this article as:
Venkatraman, J.T., Chandrasekar, B., Kim, J.D. et al. Lipids (1994) 29: 561. doi:10.1007/BF02536628


Menhaden fish oil (FO) containing n−3 fatty acids dramatically extends the life span and delays the onset and progression of autoimmune disease in (NZB×NZW)F1 (B/W) female mice as compared to those fed corn oil (CO) rich in n−6 lipids. As an inefficient antioxidant defense system has been linked to autoimmune diseases, the present study was undertaken to determine whether the protective action of n−3 lipids is mediated through their antioxidant defense system. Weanling B/W mice were fed a nutritionally adequate, semipurified diet containing CO or krill oil (KO) or FO at 10% level (w/w)ad libitum until the mice were 6.5 months old. All diets contained the same level of vitamin E (21.5 mg/100 g diet). We compared the effects of feeding n−6 and n−3 lipids on survival, kidney disease, hepatic microsomal lipid composition, peroxidation, and on the activity and mRNA expression of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in 6.5-month-old B/W mice. The results showed that when compared to livers from CO-fed mice, livers from KO- and FO-fed mice showed: (i) significantly higher (P<0.001) activities and expression of CAT, GSH-Px and SOD; (ii) significantly lower (P<0.001) arachidonic acid (20∶4n−6) and linoleic acid (18∶2n−6) and higher (P<0.001) eicosapentaenoic acid (20∶5n−3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22∶6n−3) levels in hepatic microsomes; and (iii) significantly lower (P<0.001) estimated peroxidation indices and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances generation. The data indicate that one of the mechanisms through which the n−3 lipids delay the onset of autoimmune diseases in B/W mice may be through maintenance of higher activities and expression of hepatic antioxidant enzymes.


B/W mice

(NZB×NZW) F1 mice




corn oil


ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


fish oil


glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase


glutathione reduced form


glutathione peroxidase


krill oil


β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, reduced form


sodium dodecylsulfate


systemic lupus erythematosus


superoxide dismutase


sodium chloride/sodium citrate buffer


thiobarbituric acid reactive substances

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaya T. Venkatraman
    • 1
  • Bysani Chandrasekar
    • 1
  • Jong Dai Kim
    • 2
  • Gabriel Fernandes
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MedicineThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan Antonio
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan Antonio
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan Antonio
  4. 4.Nutrition ProgramState University of New York at BuffaloBuffalo