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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2016, Article ID 3124960, 10 pages
Review Article

Role of T-Cell Polarization and Inflammation and Their Modulation by n-3 Fatty Acids in Gestational Diabetes and Macrosomia

1INSERM U866, Université de Bourgogne, 21000 Dijon, France
2Service de Physiologie et Explorations Fonctionnelles, Faculté de Médecine de Sousse, 4000 Sousse, Tunisia
3Laboratoire des Produits Naturels (LAPRONA), Département de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Faculté des Sciences, Université Abou Bekr Belkaid, 25000 Tlemcen, Algeria

Received 24 December 2015; Revised 10 April 2016; Accepted 5 May 2016

Academic Editor: Michael B. Zemel

Copyright © 2016 A. Hichami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Th (T helper) cells are differentiated into either Th1 or Th2 phenotype. It is generally considered that Th1 phenotype is proinflammatory, whereas Th2 phenotype exerts anti-inflammatory or protective effects. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been associated with a decreased Th1 phenotype, whereas macrosomia is marked with high expression of Th1 cytokines. Besides, these two pathological situations are marked with high concentrations of inflammatory mediators like tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), known to play a pivotal role in insulin resistance. Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) may exert a beneficial effect by shifting Th1/Th2 balance to a Th2 phenotype and increasing insulin sensitivity. In this paper, we shed light on the role of T-cell malfunction that leads to an inflammatory and pathophysiological state, related to insulin resistance in GDM and macrosomia. We will also discuss the nutritional management of these pathologies by dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).