Docosahexaenoic acid-containing choline phospholipid modulates LPS-induced neuroinflammation in vivo and in microglia in vitro

Célia Fourrier, Julie Remus-Borel, Andrew D. Greenhalgh, Michel Guichardant, Nathalie Bernoud-Hubac, Michel Lagarde, Corinne Joffre, Sophie Layé

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Neuroinflammatory processes are considered a double-edged sword, having both protective and detrimental effects in the brain. Microglia, the brain's resident innate immune cells, are a key component of neuroinflammatory response. There is a growing interest in developing drugs to target microglia and control neuroinflammatory processes. In this regard, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the brain's n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is a promising molecule to regulate pro-inflammatory microglia and cytokine production. Several works reported that the bioavailability of DHA to the brain is higher when DHA is acylated to phospholipid. In this work, we analyzed the anti-inflammatory activity of DHA-phospholipid, either acetylated at the sn-1 position (AceDoPC, a stable form thought to have superior access to the brain) or acylated with palmitic acid at the sn-1 position (PC-DHA) using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation model both in vitro and in vivo. Methods: In vivo, adult C57Bl6/J mice were injected intravenously (i.v.) with either AceDoPC or PC-DHA 24h prior to LPS (i.p.). For in vitro studies, immortalized murine microglia cells BV-2 were co-incubated with DHA forms and LPS. AceDoPC and PC-DHA effect on brain or BV-2 PUFA content was assessed by gas chromatography. LPS-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α production were measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR) or multiplex. IL-6 receptors and associated signaling pathway STAT3 were assessed by FACS analysis and western-blot in vitro. Results: In vivo, a single injection of AceDoPC or PC-DHA decreased LPS-induced IL-6 production in the hippocampus of mice. This effect could be linked to their direct effect on microglia, as revealed in vitro. In addition, AceDoPC or PC-DHA reduced IL-6 receptor while only AceDoPC decreased IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation. Conclusions: These results highlight the potency of administered DHA-acetylated to phospholipids-to rapidly regulate LPS-induced neuroinflammatory processes through their effect on microglia. In particular, both IL-6 production and signaling are targeted by AceDoPC in microglia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 24 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • AceDoPC
  • DHA
  • IL-1β
  • IL-6
  • Intravenous
  • Microglia
  • PC-DHA
  • Phospholipid
  • STAT3
  • TNFα

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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