Bipolar disorder moderates associations between linoleic acid and markers of inflammation

Ya Wen Chang, Shervin Assari, Alan R. Prossin, Laura Stertz, Melvin G. McInnis, Simon J. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and inflammatory proteins associate with immune activation and have been implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. We have previously reported that individuals with bipolar disorder (BPD) have decreased PUFA intake, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA); and decreased PUFA concentration of plasma EPA and linoleic acid (LA). We have also reported an association between plasma LA and its metabolites and burden of disease measures in BPD. In the current cross-sectional study we collected blood samples and diet records from both bipolar (n = 91) and control subjects (n = 75) to quantify plasma cytokine concentrations and dietary LA intake, respectively. Using multiple linear regression techniques, we tested for case control differences in plasma cytokine levels and associations between cytokines and dietary LA intake, adjusting for sex, age, BMI, and total energy intake. We found significantly higher plasma levels of interleukin 18 (IL-18) (p = 0.036), IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) (p = 0.001), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor (sTNFR) 1 (p = 0.006), and sTNFR2 (p = 0.007) in BPD compared with controls. Moreover, BPD significantly moderated the associations of dietary LA intake with plasma levels of IL-18, sTNFR1 and sTNFR2, which were inverse associations in bipolar individuals and positive associations in controls (p for dietary LA x BPD diagnosis interaction < 0.05 for all three). These findings suggest potential dysregulation of LA metabolism in BPD, which may extend to a modified influence of dietary LA on specific inflammatory pathways in individuals with BPD compared to healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Interleukin
  • Linoleic acid
  • Tumor necrosis factor receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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