Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with both high morbidity and mortality in intensive care units worldwide. Patients with ARDS often require parenteral nutrition with lipid emulsions as essential components. In the present study, we assessed the immunomodulatory and apoptotic effects of a modern, n-6-reduced lipid emulsion mixture in murine ARDS. Methods: Mice received an infusion of either normal saline solution, pure long-chain triglyceride (LCT) emulsion, or SMOF (soybean oil, medium-chain triglycerides, olive oil, and fish oil) before a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Mice were sacrificed at different time points (0, 24, or 72 h) after ARDS induction, and an analysis of inflammatory cytokines, protein concentrations, and the cellular composition of the alveolar and interstitial compartments was performed with special focus on alveolar apoptosis and necrosis. Results: Mice infused with SMOF showed decreased leukocyte invasion, protein leakage, myeloperoxidase activity, and cytokine production in alveolar spaces after LPS challenge compared to animals that received LCT. There were fewer cells in the lung interstitium of the SMOF group compared to the LCT group. Both lipid emulsions exerted pro-apoptotic and pro-necrotic properties on alveolar immune cells, with significantly increased necrosis in mice infused with LCT compared to SMOF. Conclusion: SMOF has both anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving influences in murine ARDS. Partial replacement of n-6 fatty acids with n-3/n-9 fatty acids may therefore benefit critically ill patients at risk for ARDS who require parenteral nutrition.
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