Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are functionally the most important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Oral supply of these fatty acids increases their levels in plasma and cell membranes, often at the expense of the omega-6 PUFAs arachidonic acid (ARA) and linoleic acid. This results in an altered pattern of lipid mediator production to one which is less pro-inflammatory. We investigated whether short term intravenous supply of omega-3 PUFAs could change the levels of EPA, DHA, ARA and linoleic acid in plasma and erythrocytes in patients with hepatic colorectal metastases.
Twenty patients were randomised to receive a 72 hour infusion of total parenteral nutrition with (treatment group) or without (control group) omega-3 PUFAs. EPA, DHA, ARA and linoleic acid were measured in plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) and erythrocytes at several times points up to the end of infusion and 5 to 12 days (mean 9 days) after stopping the infusion.
The treatment group showed increases in plasma PC EPA and DHA and erythrocyte EPA and decreases in plasma PC and erythrocyte linoleic acid, with effects most evident late in the infusion period. Plasma PC and erythrocyte EPA and linoleic acid all returned to baseline levels after the 5–12 day washout. Plasma PC DHA remained elevated above baseline after washout.
Intravenous supply of omega-3 PUFAs results in a rapid increase of EPA and DHA in plasma PC and of EPA in erythrocytes. These findings suggest that infusion of omega-3 PUFAs could be used to induce a rapid effect especially in targeting inflammation.
http://www.clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00942292
Parenteral nutrition; Fish oil; Omega-3 fatty acids; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Arachidonic acid; Liver metastases
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) form an important constituent of all the cell membranes in the body. PUFAs such as arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) form precursors to both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory compounds. Low-grade systemic inflammation occurs in clinical conditions such as insulin resistance, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, lupus, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias, cancer and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that are also characterized by an alteration in the metabolism of essential fatty acids in the form of excess production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and possibly, decreased synthesis and release of anti-inflammatory lipoxins, resolvins, protectins and maresins. We propose that low-grade systemic inflammation observed in these clinical conditions is due to an imbalance in the metabolism of essential fatty acids that is more in favour of pro-inflammatory molecules. In this context, transgenic fat-1 mouse that is designed to convert n-6 to n-3 fatty acids could form an ideal model to study the altered metabolism of essential fatty acids in the above mentioned conditions. It is envisaged that low-grade systemic inflammatory conditions are much less likely in the fat-1 mouse and/or these diseases will run a relatively mild course. Identifying the anti-inflammatory compounds from n-3 fatty acids that suppress low-grade systemic inflammatory conditions and understanding their mechanism(s) of action may lead to newer therapeutic strategies.
The development of leukemia and lymphomas is related to the increase in inflammatory
process modulators. These, in turn, have divergent actions on the neoplastic process.
Populations of T cells have different roles in the neoplastic environment; while
interferon-gamma positive T cells have antitumor activity, the FoxP3+interleukin-10
positive population present a pro-tumor activity. Simultaneously, the inflammatory
process promotes the mobilization of fatty acids from the cell membrane to produce
lipid mediators, which also participate of the inflammatory response.
Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids, when
incorporated in the plasmatic membrane, decrease the arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism
and the production of eicosanoids derived from it. Thus, an alternative family of
lipid mediators are produced that are often less inflammatory than those produced
from arachidonic acid. Fatty acids can also influence the production of peptide
mediators such as cytokines, and the expression of transcription factors, which can
determine the production patterns of eicosanoids and cytokines as well as cell
differentiation. Due to these properties, the objective of this literature review was
to investigate studies published over the last 15 years on the effects of using
omega-3 fatty acids on inflammatory markers in leukemia and lymphomas.
Fatty acids, omega-3; Inflammation; Hematologic neoplasms; Leukemia; Lymphoma; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acids; Tumor markers, biological
Resolvins, including D and E series resolvins, are endogenous lipid mediators generated during the resolution phase of acute inflammation from the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Resolvins are known to have potent anti-inflammatory and pro-resolution actions in several animal models of inflammation. Recent findings also demonstrate that resolvin E1 and resolvin D1 can each potently dampen inflammatory and postoperative pain. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which resolvins act on their receptors in immune cells and neurons to normalize exaggerated pain, via regulating inflammatory mediators, transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, and spinal cord synaptic transmission. Resolvins may offer novel therapeutic approaches for preventing and treating pain conditions associated with inflammation.
Rationale: Acute lung injury (ALI) remains an important cause of mortality in intensive care units. Inflammation is controlled by cytokines and eicosanoids derived from the n-6 fatty acid (FA) arachidonic acid (AA). The n-3 FA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and mediators derived from EPA and DHA possess reduced inflammatory potency.
Objectives: To determine whether the ability of fat-1 mice to endogenously convert n-6 to n-3 FA, and thus generate an increased ratio of n-3 to n-6 FA, impacts experimental ALI.
Methods: We investigated ALI induced by intratracheal instillation of endotoxin in fat-1 and wild-type (WT) mice, assessing leukocyte numbers, protein concentration, and prostaglandin and cytokine levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, as well as free FA in plasma, and lung ventilator compliance. Body temperature and motor activity of mice—markers of sickness behavior—were also recorded.
Measurements and Main Results: In ALI, fat-1 mice exhibited significantly reduced leukocyte invasion, protein leakage, and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and thromboxane B2 levels in lavage fluid compared with WT mice. Free AA levels were increased in the plasma of WT mice in response to endotoxin, whereas EPA and DHA were increased in the fat-1 group. Ventilator compliance was significantly improved in fat-1 mice. Body temperature and motor activity were decreased in ALI. fat-1 Mice recovered body temperature and motor activity faster.
Conclusions: fat-1 Mice exhibited reduced features of ALI and sickness behavior. Increasing the availability of n-3 FA may thus be beneficial in critically ill patients with ALI.
fat-1 mice; eicosapentaenoic acid; sickness behavior; inflammation; acute lung injury
The omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) found in fish and fish oils (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, EPA and DHA) have been reported to have a variety of beneficial effects in cardiovascular diseases. Ecological and prospective cohort studies as well as randomized, controlled trials have supported the view that the effects of these FAs are clinically-relevant. They operate via several mechanisms, all beginning with the incorporation of EPA and DHA into cell membranes. From here, these omega-3 FA alter membrane physical characteristics and the activity of membrane-bound proteins, and once released by intracellular phospholipases, can interact with ion channels, be converted into a wide variety of bioactive eicosanoids, and serve as ligands for several nuclear transcription factors thereby altering gene expression. In as much as blood levels are a strong reflection of dietary intake, it is proposed that an omega-3 FA biomarker, the omega-3 index (erythrocyte EPA+DHA) be considered at least a marker, if not a risk factor, for coronary heart disease, especially sudden cardiac death. The omega-3 index fulfils many of the requirements for a risk factor including consistent epidemiological evidence, a plausible mechanism of action, a reproducible assay, independence from classical risk factors, modifiability, and most importantly, the demonstration that raising tissue levels will reduce risk for cardiac events. For these and a number of other reasons, the omega-3 index compares very favourably with other risk factors for sudden cardiac death.
Eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; biomarkers; risk factors; cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease; sudden cardiac death; fish oils
Fatty acids may integrate into cell membranes to change physical properties of cell membranes, and subsequently alter cell functions in an unsaturation number-dependent manner. To address the roles of fatty acid unsaturation numbers in cellular pathways of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we systematically investigated the effects of fatty acids on cell membrane fluidity and α-secretase-cleaved soluble amyloid precursor protein (sAPPα) secretion in relations to unsaturation numbers using stearic acid (SA, 18:0), oleic acid (OA, 18:1), linoleic acid (LA, 18:2), α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3), arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6). Treatments of differentiated human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y cells) with AA, EPA and DHA for 24 h increased sAPPα secretion and membrane fluidity, whereas those treatments with SA, OA, LA and ALA did not. Treatments with AA and DHA did not alter the total expressions of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and α-secretases in SH-SY5Y cells. These results suggested that not all unsaturated fatty acids but only those with 4 or more double bonds, such as AA, EPA and DHA, are able to increase membrane fluidity and lead to increase in sAPPα secretion. This study provides insights into dietary strategies for the prevention of AD.
Fatty acids; membrane fluidity; sAPPα; Alzheimer's disease
Consumption of ω-3 fatty acids from fish oil, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), decreases risk for heart failure and attenuates pathologic cardiac remodeling in response to pressure overload. Dietary supplementation with EPA+DHA may also impact cardiac mitochondrial function and energetics through alteration of membrane phospholipids. We assessed the role of EPA+DHA supplementation on left ventricular (LV) function, cardiac mitochondrial membrane phospholipid composition, respiration, and sensitivity to mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening in normal and infarcted myocardium. Rats were subjected to sham surgery or myocardial infarction by coronary artery ligation (n=10–14), and fed a standard diet, or supplemented with EPA+DHA (2.3% of energy intake) for 12 weeks. EPA+DHA altered fatty acid composition of total mitochondrial phospholipids and cardiolipin by reducing arachidonic acid content and increasing DHA incorporation. EPA+DHA significantly increased calcium uptake capacity in both subsarcolemmal and intrafibrillar mitochondria from sham rats. This treatment effect persisted with the addition of cyclosporin A, and was not accompanied by changes in mitochondrial respiration or coupling, or cyclophilin D protein expression. Myocardial infarction resulted in heart failure as evidenced by LV dilation and contractile dysfunction. Infarcted LV myocardium had decreased mitochondrial protein yield and activity of mitochondrial marker enzymes, however respiratory function of isolated mitochondria was normal. EPA+DHA had no effect on LV function, mitochondrial respiration, or MPTP opening in rats with heart failure. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with EPA+DHA altered mitochondrial membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition in normal and infarcted hearts, but delayed MPTP opening only in normal hearts.
eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; myocardial infarction; mitochondrial permeability transition pore
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are considered essential omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition. In marine microalgae EPA and/or DHA are allegedly involved in the regulation of membrane fluidity and thylakoid membrane functioning. The cellular content of EPA and DHA may therefore be enhanced at low temperature and irradiance conditions. As a result, polar and cold temperate marine microalgal species might potentially be suitable candidates for commercial EPA and DHA production, given their adaptation to low temperature and irradiance habitats.
In the present study we investigated inter- and intraspecific EPA and DHA variability in five polar and (cold) temperate microalgae. Intraspecific EPA and DHA content did not vary significantly in an Antarctic (Chaetoceros brevis) and a temperate (Thalassiosira weissflogii) centric diatom after acclimation to a range of irradiance levels at two temperatures. Interspecific variability was investigated for two Antarctic (Chaetoceros brevis and Pyramimonas sp. (Prasinophyceae)) and three cold-temperate species (Thalassiosira weissflogii, Emiliania huxleyi (Prymnesiophyceae) and Fibrocapsa japonica (Raphidophyceae)) during exponential growth. Interspecific variability was shown to be much more important than intraspecific variability. Highest relative and absolute levels of DHA were measured in the prymnesiophyte E. huxleyi and the prasinophyte Pyramimonas sp., while levels of EPA were high in the raphidophyte F. japonica and the diatoms C. brevis and T. weissflogii. Yet, no significant differences in LC-PUFA content were found between polar and cold-temperate species. Also, EPA and DHA production rates varied strongly between species. Highest EPA production rate (174 μg L-1 day-1) was found in the Antarctic diatom Chaetoceros brevis, while DHA production was highest in the cold-temperate prymnesiophyte Emiliania huxleyi (164 μg L-1 day-1). We show that, following careful species selection, effective mass cultivation of marine microalgae for EPA and DHA production may be possible under low temperature and irradiance conditions.
Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Thalassiosira weissflogii; Chaetoceros brevis; Fibrocapsa japonica; Emiliania huxleyi; Pyramimonas sp.
B10.RIII and B10.G mice were transferred from a diet of laboratory rodent chow to a standard diet in which all the fat (5% by weight) was supplied as either fish oil (17% eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA], 12% docosahexaenoic acid [DHA], 0% arachidonic acid [AA], and 2% linoleic acid) or corn oil (0% EPA, 0% DHA, 0% AA, and 65% linoleic acid). The fatty acid composition of the macrophage phospholipids from mice on the chow diet was similar to that of mice on a corn oil diet. Mice fed the fish oil diet for only 1 wk showed substantial increases in macrophage phospholipid levels of the omega-3 fatty acids (of total fatty acid 4% was EPA, 10% docosapentaenoic acid [DPA], and 10% DHA), and decreases in omega-6 fatty acids (12% was AA, 2% docosatetraenoic acid [DTA], and 4% linoleic acid) compared to corn oil-fed mice (0% EPA, 0% DPA, 6% DHA, 20% AA, 9% DTA, and 8% linoleic acid). After 5 wk this difference between the fish oil-fed and corn oil-fed mice was even more pronounced. Further small changes occurred at 5-9 wk. We studied the prostaglandin (PG) and thromboxane (TX) profile of macrophages prepared from mice fed the two diets just before being immunized with collagen. Irrespective of diet, macrophages prepared from female mice and incubated for 24 h had significantly more PG and TX in the medium than similarly prepared macrophages from male mice. The increased percentage of EPA and decreased percentage of AA in the phospholipids of the macrophages prepared from the fish oil-fed mice was reflected in a reduction in the amount of PGE2 and PGI2 in the medium relative to identically incubated macrophages prepared from corn oil-fed mice. When this same fish oil diet was fed to B10.RIII mice for 26 d before immunization with type II collagen, the time of onset of arthritis was increased, and the incidence and severity of arthritis was reduced compared to arthritis induced in corn oil-fed mice. The females, especially those on the fish oil diet, tended to have less arthritis than the males. These alterations in the fatty acid pool available for PG and leukotriene synthesis suggest a pivotal role for the macrophage and PG in the immune and/or inflammatory response to type II collagen.
To determine the extent to which levels of membrane eicosapentaenoic (EPA)+docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) (the omega-3 index) were associated with depression in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Depression is associated with worse cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in patients with ACS. Reduced levels of blood cell membrane omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FAs), an emerging risk factor for both CV disease and depression, may help to explain the link between depression and adverse CV outcomes.
We measured membrane FA composition in 759 patients with confirmed ACS. The analysis included not only EPA and DHA but also the n-6 FAs linoleic and arachidonic acids (LA and AA). Depressive symptoms were measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ). Multivariable linear regression was used to adjust for demographic and clinical characteristics.
There was a significant inverse relationship between the n-3 index and depressive symptoms (PHQ) in the fully adjusted model (p = .034). For every 4.54% point rise in the n-3 index, there was a 1-point decline in depressive symptoms. In contrast to the n-3 FAs, membrane levels of the n-6 FAs LA and AA were not different between depressed and nondepressed ACS patients.
We found an inverse relationship between the n-3 index and the prevalence of depressive symptoms in patients with ACS. Therefore, this study supports the hypothesis that reduced n-3 FA tissue levels are a common and potentially modifiable link between depression and adverse CV outcomes.
depression; acute coronary syndrome; omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (e.g., arachidonic acid (AA)) and omega-3 (n-3) PUFA (e.g., eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) are precursors to potent lipid mediator signalling molecules, termed “eicosanoids,” which have important roles in the regulation of inflammation. In general, eicosanoids derived from n-6 PUFA are proinflammatory while eicosanoids derived from n-3 PUFA are anti-inflammatory. Dietary changes over the past few decades in the intake of n-6 and n-3 PUFA show striking increases in the (n-6) to (n-3) ratio (~15 : 1), which are associated with greater metabolism of the n-6 PUFA compared with n-3 PUFA. Coinciding with this increase in the ratio of (n-6) : (n-3) PUFA are increases in chronic inflammatory diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cardiovascular disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease (AD). By increasing the ratio of (n-3) : (n-6) PUFA in the Western diet, reductions may be achieved in the incidence of these chronic inflammatory diseases.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a low-grade systemic inflammatory condition, since liver and adipose tissue tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and TNF receptor 1 transcripts and serum TNF-α levels are increased and IL-6-/- mice are less prone to NAFLD. Fatty liver damage caused by high-fat diets is associated with the generation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). A decrease in the levels of arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the usefulness of EPA and DHA both in the prevention and management of NAFLD has been reported. AA, EPA and DHA and their anti-inflammatory products lipoxins (LXs), resolvins and protectins suppress IL-6 and TNF-α and PGE2 production. These results suggest that the activities of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturases are reduced in NAFLD and hence, the dietary essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) are not metabolized to their long-chain products AA, EPA and DHA, the precursors of anti-inflammatory molecules, LXs, resolvins and protectins that could pre vent NAFLD. This suggests that an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory bioactive lipids contribute to NAFLD. Hence, it is proposed that plasma and tissue levels of AA, EPA, DHA and LXs, resolvins and protectins could be used as predictors and prognostic biomarkers of NAFLD. It is suggested that the synthesis and use of more stable analogues of LXs, resolvins and protectins need to be explored in the prevention and management of NAFLD.
Prostaglandins; Lipids; Arachidonic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Docosahexaenoic acid; Lipoxins; Resolvins; Protectins; Cytokines; Free radicals; Hyperlipidemia
Thraustochytrids, marine protists known to accumulate polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in lipid droplets, are considered an alternative to fish oils as a source of PUFAs. The major fatty acids produced in thraustochytrids are palmitic acid (C16:0), n − 6 docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) (C22:5n − 6), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (C22:6n − 3), with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (C20:5n − 3) and arachidonic acid (AA) (C20:4n − 6) as minor constituents. We attempted here to alter the fatty acid composition of thraustochytrids through the expression of a fatty acid Δ5 desaturase gene driven by the thraustochytrid ubiquitin promoter. The gene was functionally expressed in Aurantiochytrium limacinum mh0186, increasing the amount of EPA converted from eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) (C20:4n − 3) by the Δ5 desaturase. The levels of EPA and AA were also increased by 4.6- and 13.2-fold in the transgenic thraustochytrids compared to levels in the mock transfectants when ETA and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) (C20:3n − 6) were added to the culture at 0.1 mM. Interestingly, the amount of EPA in the transgenic thraustochytrids increased in proportion to the amount of ETA added to the culture up to 0.4 mM. The rates of conversion and accumulation of EPA were much higher in the thraustochytrids than in baker's yeasts when the desaturase gene was expressed with the respective promoters. This report describes for the first time the finding that an increase of EPA could be accomplished by introducing the Δ5 desaturase gene into thraustochytrids and indicates that molecular breeding of thraustochytrids is a promising strategy for generating beneficial PUFAs.
Chronic wounds often result from prolonged inflammation involving excessive polymorphonuclear leukocyte activity. Studies show that the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oils generate bioactive lipid mediators that reduce inflammation and polymorphonuclear leukocyte recruitment in numerous inflammatory disease models. This study’s purpose was to test the hypotheses that boosting plasma levels of EPA and DHA with oral supplementation would alter lipid mediator levels in acute wound microenvironments and reduce polymorphonuclear leukocyte levels. Eighteen individuals were randomized to 28 days of either EPA + DHA supplementation (Active Group) or placebo. After 28 days, the Active Group had significantly higher plasma levels of EPA (p < 0.001) and DHA (p < 0.001) than the Placebo Group and significantly lower wound fluid levels of two 15-lipoxygenase products of ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid [p=0.033] and 15-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid [p=0.006]), at 24 hours postwounding. The Active Group also had lower mean levels of myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte marker, at 12 hours and significantly more reepithelialization on Day 5 postwounding. We suggest that lipid mediator profiles can be manipulated by altering polyunsaturated fatty acid intake to create a wound microenvironment more conducive to healing.
We investigated the effects of low-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on the incidence and growth of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary carcinoma in rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet. We also examined the effects of these treatments on the fatty acid composition of tumour and serum. Tumour incidence was significantly decreased by the administration of low-dose EPA and DHA, whereas their inhibitory effects on tumour growth did not reach significance. Serum arachidonic acid (AA) level was decreased by the administration of low-dose EPA and tended to be decreased by the administration of low-dose DHA, whereas tumour AA levels were not changed. The administration of low-dose EPA and DHA may be useful for inhibiting the incidence of breast cancer.
Dyslipidemia, and inflammatory markers: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), myeloperoxidase (MPO), lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2(Lp-PLA2), and lipid peroxides (LP) are insufficient to predict the onset, extent, and prognosis of CHD. Lipoxins (LXs), resolvins, and protectins are derived from ω-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and ω-6 arachidonic acid in the presence of aspirin; whereas nitrolipids are formed due to the interaction between polyunsaturated fatty acids and nitric oxide (NO). LXs, resolvins, protectins, and nitrolipids are endogenous anti-inflammatory lipid molecules that inhibit production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α), suppress free radical generation, enhance NO generation; and accelerate tissue repair. Thus, beneficial actions of EPA/DHA and aspirin in CHD could be attributed to the formation of LXs, resolvins, protectins, and nitrolipids and suggest that their plasma levels aid in the prediction and prognosis of CHD.
Aggressive periodontitis (AgP) is a rapidly progressing type of periodontal disease in otherwise healthy individuals which causes destruction of the supporting tissues of the teeth. The disease is initiated by pathogenic bacteria in the dental biofilm, and the severity of inflammation and attachment loss varies with the host response. Recently, there has been an increased interest in determining the role of lipid mediators in inflammatory events and the concept of pro-inflammatory and pro-resolution lipid mediators has been brought into focus also in periodontal disease. The present study aimed to determine the profile of omega-3 or n3- as well as omega-6 or n6- polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and PUFA-metabolites of linoleic acid, arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), saliva and serum in AgP patients and healthy controls. In total, 60 selected n3- and n6-PUFAs and various PUFA metabolites were measured using high performance liquid chromatography-tandem electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS-MS). Of these, 51 could be quantified in this study. The concentrations of the majority were low in saliva samples compared with serum and GCF, but were mainly higher in AgP patients compared with healthy controls in all three kinds of sample. Ratios of n3- to n6-PUFAs (DHA + EPA)/AA were significantly lower in the GCF of AgP patients than in the healthy controls. Furthermore, various ratios of the direct precursors of the pro-resolution lipid mediators (precursors of resolvins and protectins) were calculated against the precursors of mainly pro-inflammatory lipid mediators. These ratios were mainly lower in GCF and saliva of AgP patients, compared with healthy controls, but only reached significance in GCF (P<0.05). To conclude, the ratios of precursors of pro-resolution/pro-inflammatory lipid mediators seem to be more relevant for describing the disease status of AgP than the concentration of specific lipid mediators.
The long chain omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 fatty acids) that derive from fish (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and other chronic disease. However, studying associations between EPA and DHA intake and disease rigorously requires a valid biomarker of dietary intake, and measuring tissue fatty acid levels directly is expensive and time consuming.
Because the nitrogen stable isotope ratio (15N/14N, expressed as δ15N) is elevated in fish, we investigated whether δ15N can provide a valid, alternative biomarker for EPA and DHA intake.
We examined the relationship between red blood cell (RBC) δ15N and RBC EPA and DHA in a community-based sample of 496 Yup'ik Eskimos with widely varying intake of n-3 fatty acids. We also assessed the correlation between δ15N and EPA and DHA dietary intake, based on a 24-hour dietary recall and a 3-day food record completed by a subset of 221 participants.
RBC δ15N was strongly correlated with RBC EPA and DHA (r = 0.83 and 0.75 respectively). These correlations differed only modestly by sex and age class. RBC δ15N also correlated with dietary EPA and DHA intake (r = 0.47 and 0.46, respectively), and did not differ by sex and age.
These results strongly support the validity of RBC δ15N as a biomarker of EPA and DHA intake. Because analysis of RBC δ15N is rapid and inexpensive, it could facilitate wide scale assessment of EPA and DHA intake for clinical and epidemiological studies.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential nutrients for humans. They are structural and functional components of cell membranes and pre-stages of the hormonally and immunologically active eicosanoids. Recent discoveries have shown that the long-chained omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also play an important role in the central nervous system. They are essential for normal brain functioning including attention and other neuropsychological skills.
Materials and methods
In our large observational study we monitored 810 children from 5 to 12 years of age referred for medical help and recommended for consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in combination with zinc and magnesium by a physician over a period of at least 3 months. The food supplement ESPRICO® (further on referred to as the food supplement) is developed on the basis of current nutritional science and containing a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as magnesium and zinc. Study objective was to evaluate the nutritional effects of the PUFA-zinc-magnesium combination on symptoms of attention deficit, impulsivity, and hyperactivity as well as on emotional problems and sleep related parameters. Assessment was performed by internationally standardised evaluation scales, i.e. SNAP-IV and SDQ. Tolerance (adverse events) and acceptance (compliance) of the dietary therapy were documented.
After 12 weeks of consumption of a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as magnesium and zinc most subjects showed a considerable reduction in symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity/impulsivity assessed by SNAP-IV. Further, the assessment by SDQ revealed fewer emotional problems at the end of the study period compared to baseline and also sleeping disorders. Mainly problems to fall asleep, decreased during the 12 week nutritional therapy. Regarding safety, no serious adverse events occurred. A total of 16 adverse events with a possible causal relationship to the study medication were reported by 14 children (1.7%) and only 5.2% of the children discontinued the study due to acceptance problems. Continuation of consumption of the food supplement was recommended by the paediatricians for 61.1% of the children.
Our results suggest a beneficial effect of a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as magnesium and zinc consumption on attentional, behavioural, and emotional problems of children and adolescents. Thus, considering the behavioural benefit in combination with the low risk due to a good safety profile, the dietary supplementation with PUFA in combination with zinc and magnesium can be recommended.
In a recent study, we showed that the combination of aspirin plus the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) synergistically inhibited platelet function. As aspirin, EPA, and DHA have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, we hypothesized that the ingestion of EPA and DHA, with and without aspirin, would reduce plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines and angiogenesis factors more than aspirin alone and before aspirin was ingested.
Using multiplex technology, we investigated the effects of aspirin (single-dose 650 mg on day 1), EPA+DHA (3.4 g/d for days 2-29), and aspirin with EPA+DHA (day 30) on plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines and angiogenesis factors in healthy adults.
Aspirin alone had no effect on any factor versus baseline, but EPA+DHA, with and without aspirin, significantly reduced concentrations of 8 of 9 factors. Although EPA+DHA plus aspirin reduced concentrations of a subset of the factors compared to baseline, neither aspirin alone nor the combination significantly reduced the level of any analyte more robustly than EPA+DHA alone.
These data suggest that EPA+DHA has more pronounced down-regulatory effects on inflammation and angiogenesis than aspirin. The implications of these findings for the use of combined therapy for cardiovascular disease remain to be clarified.
eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; lipid mediators; fatty acids; angiogenesis; hemostasis; platelet function; cytokines; aspirin
The high incidence of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome in South Asians remains unexplained. I propose that a defect in the activity of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturases and consequent low plasma and tissue concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as γ-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA), arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and formation of their anti-inflammatory products prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), prostacyclin (PGI2), PGI3, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, maresins and nitrolipids could be responsible for the high incidence of insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and ischemic heart disease (IHD) in South Asians. This proposal is supported by the observation that South Asian Indians have lower plasma and tissue concentrations of GLA, DGLA, AA, EPA and DHA, the precursors of PGE1, PGI2, PGI3, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, and nitrolipids, the endogenous molecules that prevent platelet aggregation, vasoconstriction, thrombus formation, leukocyte activation and possess anti-inflammatory action and thus, are capable of preventing the development of insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and premature ischemic heart disease. Genetic predisposition, high carbohydrate intake, lack of exercise, tobacco use and low birth weight due to maternal malnutrition suppress the activity of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturases that leads to low plasma and tissue concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids and their products. This implies that adequate provision of polyunsaturated fatty acids and co-factors needed for their metabolism, and efforts to enhance the formation of their beneficial metabolites PGE1, PGI2, PGI3, lipoxins, resolvins, protectins, maresins and nitrolipids could form a novel approach in the prevention and management of these diseases in this high-risk population.
The fatty acid mixture of human milk is ideal for the newborn but little is known about its composition in the first few weeks of lactation. Of special interest are the levels of long-chain PUFAs (LCPUFAs), since these are essential for the newborn’s development. Additionally, the LCPUFAs arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are precursors for lipid mediators which regulate inflammation.
We determined the composition of 94 human milk samples from 30 mothers over the first month of lactation for fatty acids using GC-MS and quantified lipid mediators using HPLC-MS/MS.
Over the four weeks period, DHA levels decreased, while levels of γC18:3 and αC18:3 steadily increased. Intriguingly, we found high concentrations of lipid mediators and their hydroxy fatty acid precursors in human milk, including pro-inflammatory leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving lipoxin A4 (LXA4), resolvin D1 (RvD1) and resolvin E1 (RvE1). Lipid mediator levels were stable with the exception of two direct precursors.
Elevated levels of DHA right after birth might represent higher requirements of the newborn and the high content of anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving lipid mediators and their precursors may indicate their role in neonatal immunity and may be one of the reasons for the advantage of human milk over infant formula.
Human milk; Omega-3 fatty acids; DHA; EPA; 17-HDHA; 18-HEPE; 15-HETE; Resolvins; Lipoxins; Leukotrienes
Coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancer, depression schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and collagen vascular diseases are low-grade systemic inflammatory conditions that are a severe burden on health care resources. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) and their metabolites: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), and arachidonic acid (AA) and their products: prostaglandin E1, prostacyclin, lipoxins, resolvins, and protectins suppress inflammation, augment healing, and are of benefit in the prevention and management of these conditions. Hence, supplementation of EFAs could reduce burden of these disease(s).
The impact of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation on phospholipase D (PLD) trafficking and activity in mast cells was investigated. The enrichment of mast cells with different PUFA including α-linolenic acid (LNA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), linoleic acid (LA) or arachidonic acid (AA) revealed a PUFA-mediated modulation of the mastoparan-stimulated PLD trafficking and activity. All PUFA examined, except AA, prevented the migration of the PLD1 to the plasma membrane. For PLD2 no PUFA effects on trafficking could be observed. Moreover, PUFA supplementation resulted in an increase of mastoparan-stimulated total PLD activity, which correlated with the number of double bonds of the supplemented fatty acids. To investigate, which PLD isoform was affected by PUFA, stimulated mast cells were supplemented with DHA or AA in the presence of specific PLD-isoform inhibitors. It was found that both DHA and AA diminished the inhibition of PLD activity in the presence of a PLD1 inhibitor. By contrast, only AA diminished the inhibition of PLD activity in the presence of a PLD2 inhibitor. Thus, PUFA modulate the trafficking and activity of PLD isoforms in mast cells differently. This may, in part, account for the immunomodulatory effect of unsaturated fatty acids and contributes to our understanding of the modulation of mast cell activity by PUFA.
phospholipase D; polyunsaturated fatty acids; mast cells; exocytosis