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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

PI: Michael Y. Tsai

Gene Expression in Lymphocytes Before and After Fish Oil Supplementation

Fish and fish oil consumption has been proved to have protective effects on cardiovascular disease. Possible mechanisms include lipids metabolism regulation and lowering of blood pressure; fish oil may also be anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-arrhythmia. But the molecular basis underlying the wide spectrum of benefits remains unclear. The family of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) has been proposed as one of the targets for fish oil action. This group’s previous work has shown that fenofibrate, which is a PPAR-alpha activator and is commercially available as a lipid-lowering drug, selectively affects the expression pattern of a subpopulation of genes in peripheral lymphocytes. Comparison of lymphocyte gene expression profile before and after fish oil treatment will help our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for fish oil’s beneficial effects.

For this study, the researchers recruited nine subjects and assigned them to a 7.2 g/d fish oil treatment for eight weeks. RNAs from white blood cells were freshly isolated at weeks 0 and 8. The researchers performed microarray analysis on these samples as a screening for genes of interest.

Group Members

Valerie L. Arends, Research Associate
Jing Cao, Graduate Student