Lack of an influence of dietary fat on murine natural killer cell activity

Kent L Erickson, L. A. Schumacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The influence of the degree of saturation and the concentration of dietary fat on murine natural killer (NK) cell activity was investigated using C3H/HeN and C57BL/6N mice. Mice were fed purified diets containing either 0% fat (fat free), 5 or 20% safflower oil or 5 or 20% palm oil. Safflower oil and palm oil were used because they are comparable in carbon chain length but vary in the amount of linoleic acid [18:2(n-6)]. Cytotoxicity of splenic NK cells from mice stimulated or unstimulated by the interferon inducer poly I:C was measured against either the YAC-1 lymphoma or line 168 mammary tumor targets. The number of asialo GM1+ cells was not influenced by concentration or degree of saturation of dietary fat. Generally, dietary fat had no consistent influence on NK cell cytotoxicity of spleen cells from either the high responder C3H/HeN mice or the moderate responder C57BL/6N mice against either tumor target. The level of 18:2(n-6) in NK cell-enriched splenic lymphocytes increased with greater levels of dietary safflower oil. Nevertheless, there appeared to be no correlation between lymphocyte fatty acid composition and NK cell cytotoxic capabilities. Therefore, the concentration of dietary safflower or palm oil, and thus 18:2(n-6), did not appear to affect the number or activity of murine NK cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1317
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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