Bioactive metabolites of OMEGA-6 and OMEGA-3 fatty acids are associated with inflammatory cytokine concentrations in maternal and infant plasma at the time of delivery

Rebecca Slotkowski, Matthew VanOrmer, Anum Akbar, Taija Hahka, Maranda Thompson, Rebekah Rapoza, Arzu Ulu, Melissa Thoene, Elizabeth Lyden, Maheswari Mukherjee, Ana Yuil-Valdes, Sathish Kumar Natarajan, Tara Nordgren, Corrine Hanson, Ann Anderson Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background & aims: Inflammation is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. However, unregulated or excessive inflammation during pregnancy is associated with severe maternal and infant morbidities, such as pre-eclampsia, abnormal infant neurodevelopment, or preterm birth. Inflammation is regulated in part by the bioactive metabolites of omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FAs). N-6 FAs have been shown to promote pro-inflammatory cytokine environments in adults, while n-3 FAs have been shown to contribute to the resolution of inflammation; however, how these metabolites affect maternal and infant inflammation is still uncertain. The objective of this study was to predict the influence of n-6 and n-3 FA metabolites on inflammatory biomarkers in maternal and umbilical cord plasma at the time of delivery. Methods: Inflammatory biomarkers (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNFα) for maternal and umbilical cord plasma samples in 39 maternal-infant dyads were analyzed via multi-analyte bead array. Metabolites of n-6 FAs (arachidonic acid and linoleic acid) and n-3 FAs (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) were assayed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Linear regression models assessed relationships between maternal and infant inflammatory markers and metabolite plasma concentrations. Results: Increased plasma concentrations of maternal n-6 metabolites were predictive of elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in mothers; similarly, higher plasma concentrations of umbilical cord n-6 FA metabolites were predictive of elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in infants. Higher plasma concentrations of maternal n-6 FA metabolites were also predictive of elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines in infants, suggesting that maternal n-6 FA status has an intergenerational impact on the inflammatory status of the infant. In contrast, maternal and cord plasma concentrations of n-3 FA metabolites had a mixed effect on inflammatory status in mothers and infants, which may be due to the inadequate maternal dietary intake of n-3 FAs in our study population. Conclusions: Our results reveal that maternal FA status may have an intergenerational impact on the inflammatory status of the infant. Additional research is needed to identify how dietary interventions that modify maternal FA intake prior to or during pregnancy may impact maternal and infant inflammatory status and associated long-term health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Arachidonic acid
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Inflammation
  • Linoleic acid
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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