Background: Diet plays a role on the development of the immune system, and polyunsaturated fatty acids can modulate the expression of a variety of genes. Human milk contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that seems to contribute to immune development. Indeed, recent studies carried out in our group in suckling animals have shown that the immune function is enhanced after feeding them with an 80:20 isomer mix composed of c9,t11 and t10,c12 CLA. However, little work has been done on the effects of CLA on gene expression, and even less regarding immune system development in early life.Results: The expression profile of mesenteric lymph nodes from animals supplemented with CLA during gestation and suckling through dam's milk (Group A) or by oral gavage (Group B), supplemented just during suckling (Group C) and control animals (Group D) was determined with the aid of the specific GeneChip® Rat Genome 230 2.0 (Affymettrix). Bioinformatics analyses were performed using the GeneSpring GX software package v10.0.2 and lead to the identification of 89 genes differentially expressed in all three dietary approaches. Generation of a biological association network evidenced several genes, such as connective tissue growth factor (Ctgf), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (Timp1), galanin (Gal), synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1), growth factor receptor bound protein 2 (Grb2), actin gamma 2 (Actg2) and smooth muscle alpha actin (Acta2), as highly interconnected nodes of the resulting network. Gene underexpression was confirmed by Real-Time RT-PCR.Conclusions: Ctgf, Timp1, Gal and Syt1, among others, are genes modulated by CLA supplementation that may have a role on mucosal immune responses in early life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes