Within the next two decades, more than one in three US citizens will suffer from an inflammatory disease such as asthma, arthritis, diabetes, lupus, Crohn's disease, eczema or heart disease. These disturbing trends have created a generation of sufferers who are seeking new ways to manage their debilitating diseases. Consequently, the use of complementary/alternative medicine has dramatically increased in the developed world and especially in Western countries such as the United States. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have emerged as a leading group of functional additives in the dietary supplement marketplace. The Wake Forest and Harvard Center for Botanical Lipids brings together a group of outstanding investigators from three internationally-recognized lipid groups to examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action and clinical potential of botanical fatty acid mixtures currently sold as dietary supplements with a focus on the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and asthma. Each project will examine health effects of adding selected botanical PUFAs from the same metabolic pathway to mammalian diets. The first two projects will use a mouse model of atherosclerosis to examine mechanisms by which this disease process is ameliorated with flaxseed oil and echium oil. Project 3 examines in human subjects the antiinflammatory actions of botanical PUFAs found in borage and echium oils, with a focus on the generation of leukotrienes;leukotrienes have a proven role in asthma and there is emerging data for their role in atherosclerosis. Project 4 focuses on borage/echium oil combinations and whether these supplements can be used to treat asthma in humans. These interactive and synergistic studies have a strong scientific basis and are likely to provide new understanding regarding the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis and asthma with botanical oils.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-DB (17))
Program Officer
Hopp, Craig
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Liu, Tao; Barrett, Nora A; Kanaoka, Yoshihide et al. (2018) Type 2 Cysteinyl Leukotriene Receptors Drive IL-33-Dependent Type 2 Immunopathology and Aspirin Sensitivity. J Immunol 200:915-927
Rahbar, Elaheh; Waits, Charlotte Mae K; Kirby Jr, Edward H et al. (2018) Allele-specific methylation in the FADS genomic region in DNA from human saliva, CD4+ cells, and total leukocytes. Clin Epigenetics 10:46
Rahbar, Elaheh; Ainsworth, Hannah C; Howard, Timothy D et al. (2017) Uncovering the DNA methylation landscape in key regulatory regions within the FADS cluster. PLoS One 12:e0180903
Shewale, Swapnil V; Brown, Amanda L; Bi, Xin et al. (2017) In vivo activation of leukocyte GPR120/FFAR4 by PUFAs has minimal impact on atherosclerosis in LDL receptor knockout mice. J Lipid Res 58:236-246
Chilton, Floyd H; Dutta, Rahul; Reynolds, Lindsay M et al. (2017) Precision Nutrition and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: A Case for Personalized Supplementation Approaches for the Prevention and Management of Human Diseases. Nutrients 9:
Samuchiwal, Sachin K; Balestrieri, Barbara; Raff, Hannah et al. (2017) Endogenous prostaglandin E2 amplifies IL-33 production by macrophages through an E prostanoid (EP)2/EP4-cAMP-EPAC-dependent pathway. J Biol Chem 292:8195-8206
Cui, Tao; Hester, Austin G; Seeds, Michael C et al. (2016) Impact of Genetic and Epigenetic Variations Within the FADS Cluster on the Composition and Metabolism of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prostate Cancer. Prostate 76:1182-91
Sergeant, Susan; Rahbar, Elaheh; Chilton, Floyd H (2016) Gamma-linolenic acid, Dihommo-gamma linolenic, Eicosanoids and Inflammatory Processes. Eur J Pharmacol 785:77-86
Miller, Leslie R; Jorgensen, Matthew J; Kaplan, Jay R et al. (2016) Alterations in levels and ratios of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the temporal cortex and liver of vervet monkeys from birth to early adulthood. Physiol Behav 156:71-8
Sergeant, Susan; Ruczinski, Ingo; Ivester, Priscilla et al. (2016) Impact of methods used to express levels of circulating fatty acids on the degree and direction of associations with blood lipids in humans. Br J Nutr 115:251-61

Showing the most recent 10 out of 55 publications