Maternal docosahexaenoic acid supplementation decreases lung inflammation in hyperoxia-exposed newborn mice

Lynette K. Rogers, Christina J. Valentine, Michael Pennell, Markus Velten, Rodney D. Britt, Kelly Dingess, Xuilan Zhao, Stephen E. Welty, Trent E. Tipple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


DHA is a long-chain fatty acid that has potent antiinflammatory properties. Whereas maternal DHA dietary supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive development in infants fed DHA-supplemented milk, the antiinflammatory effects of maternal DHA supplementation on the developing fetus and neonate have not been extensively explored. Pregnant C3H/HeN dams were fed purified control or DHA-supplemented diets (∼0.25% of total fat) at embryonic d 16 and consumed these diets throughout the study. At birth, the nursing mouse pups were placed in room air (RA; 21% O2) or >95% O2 (hyperoxia) for up to 7 d. These studies tested the hypothesis that maternal DHA supplementation would decrease inflammation and improve alveolarization in the lungs of newborn mouse pups exposed to hyperoxia. Survival, inflammatory responses, and lung growth were compared among control diet/RA, DHA/RA, control/O2, and DHA/O2 pups. There were fewer neutrophils and macrophages in lung tissues from pups nursed by DHA-supplemented dams than in those nursed by dams fed the control diet at 7 d of hyperoxia exposure (P < 0.015). Although differences due to hyperoxia exposure were observed, maternal diet did not affect keratinocyte-derived chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein-2, IL-1β, or TNFα mRNA levels in pup tissues. Hyperoxia also induced NF-kB activity, but maternal diet did not affect NF-κB or PPARγ activities. In mice, DHA supplementation decreases leukocyte infiltration in the offspring exposed to hyperoxia, suggesting a potential role for DHA supplementation as a therapy to reduce inflammation in preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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