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Open Access Increased Dietary Fat Prevents Sleep Deprivation-induced Immune Suppression in Rats

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Background and Purpose: Fatty acid composition of rodent diets can affect baseline immune function as measured in vitro and in vivo. Stress, in a variety of forms, can also affect immune function. Possible interaction between diet and other stressors has not been fully explored. We examined the interaction between sleep deprivation stress and dietary fatty acid composition in altering lymphocyte responses to mitogen stimulation.

Methods: Rats were fed diets containing various sources of fatty acids, then were subjected to sleep deprivation. Splenocytes were harvested and assayed for responsiveness to various mitogens, using a 72-h proliferation assay.

Results: Rats subjected to sleep deprivation experienced significant suppression of in vitro proliferative response to various mitogens. This immune suppression was dependent on duration of sleep deprivation. Feeding sleepdeprived rats a diet enriched in fatty acids abrogated the effect of sleep deprivation.

Conclusions: The fat content of rodent diets can have a marked effect on baseline and stress-modulated immune responses.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 2: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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