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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Crohn's disease (CD) is associated with nutritional deficiencies, altered plasma concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and an anti-inflammatory response to fish oil that contains n-3 PUFA. This suggests that, in CD, immune cells may have altered n-3 PUFA composition with functional consequences. The aim of this study is to investigate n-3 and n-6 PUFA composition and synthetic function of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in the basal state. METHODS: A case control study of 52 adult CD patients and healthy, age- and sex-matched controls. Composition of PBMC and plasma phospholipids were measured by gas chromatography and production of tumour necrosis factor-alpha, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) by PBMC were measured by ELISA. RESULTS: CD was associated with higher concentrations of eicosapentaenoic acid and other n-3 PUFA, and lower arachidonic acid (AA) (n-6 PUFA) in PBMC. This was not explained by differences in dietary fat intake. Lower rates of production of PGE2 and IFN-gamma by PBMC were noted in quiescent and active CD, respectively, compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: CD is associated with a greater availability, and not a deficiency, of n-3 PUFA in PBMC, but lower concentrations of AA, and lower rates of production of PGE2 and IFN-gamma, compared to healthy controls.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin nutr

Publication Date





647 - 655


Adult, Antioxidants, Case-Control Studies, Chromatography, Gas, Crohn Disease, Dietary Fats, Unsaturated, Dinoprostone, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Female, Fish Oils, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Male, Phospholipids, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha