Upon oxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oil, either before ingestion or, as recently shown, during the gastro-intestinal passage, a cascade of potentially cytotoxic peroxidation products, such as malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxy-2-hexenal, can form. In this study, we digested fresh and oxidised cod liver oils in vitro, monitored the levels of lipid peroxidation products and evaluated oxidative, proteomic and inflammatory responses to the two types of digests in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.
Digests of cod liver oil with 22-53 µmol L(-1) malondialdehyde and 0.26-3.7 µmol L(-1) 4-hydroxy-2-hexenal increased intracellular oxidation and cell energy metabolic activity compared to a digested blank in yeast cells and the influence of digests on mitochondrial protein expression was more pronounced for oxidised cod liver oil than fresh cod liver oil. The four differentially expressed and identified proteins were related to energy metabolism and oxidative stress response. Maturation of dendritic cells was affected in the presence of digested fresh cod liver oil compared to the digested blank, measured as lower CD86 expression. The ratio of secreted cytokines, IL-12p40/IL-10, suggested a pro-inflammatory effect of the digested oils in relation to the blank (1.47-1.67 vs. 1.07).
Gastro-intestinal digestion of cod liver oil increases the amount of oxidation products and resulting digests affect oxidation in yeast and immunomodulation of dendritic cells.