Lupus is a debilitating multi-organ autoimmune disease clinically typified by periods of flare and remission. Exposing lupus-prone female NZBWF1 mice to crystalline silica (cSiO 2), a known human autoimmune trigger, mimics flaring by inducing interferon-related gene (IRG) expression, inflammation, ectopic lymphoid structure (ELS) development, and autoantibody production in the lung that collectively accelerate glomerulonephritis. cSiO 2-triggered flaring in this model can be prevented by supplementing mouse diet with the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A limitation of previous studies was the use of purified diet that, although optimized for rodent health, does not reflect the high American intake of saturated fatty acid (SFA), ω-6 PUFAs, and total fat. To address this, we employed here a modified Total Western Diet (mTWD) emulating the 50 th percentile U.S. macronutrient distribution to discern how DHA supplementation and/or SFA and ω-6 reduction influences cSiO 2-triggered lupus flaring in female NZBWF1 mice. Six-week-old mice were fed isocaloric experimental diets for 2 wks, intranasally instilled with cSiO 2 or saline vehicle weekly for 4 wks, and tissues assessed for lupus endpoints 11 wks following cSiO 2 instillation. In mice fed basal mTWD, cSiO 2 induced robust IRG expression, proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine elevation, leukocyte infiltration, ELS neogenesis, and autoantibody production in the lung, as well as early kidney nephritis onset compared to vehicle-treated mice fed mTWD. Consumption of mTWD containing DHA at the caloric equivalent to a human dose of 5 g/day dramatically suppressed induction of all lupus-associated endpoints. While decreasing SFA and ω-6 in mTWD modestly inhibited some disease markers, DHA addition to this diet was required for maximal protection against lupus development. Taken together, DHA supplementation at a translationally relevant dose was highly effective in
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