Fatty Acid Modulation of Endothelial Activation.

January 1, 2000 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Fatty Acid Modulation of Endothelial Activation.

Year: 2000
Authors: R De Caterina, J Liao, P Libby.
Publication Name: Am. J. Clin. Nutr.
Publication Details: Volume 71; Page 213S.


Long chain PUFAs, especially n-3’s, are receiving attention as potential anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory agents. At earlier stages, atherosclerosis and inflammation share similar mechanisms which involve increased endothelial expression of leukocyte adhesion molecules (endothelial activation). Thus the authors reviewed the role of various dietary FAs in endothelial activation. This article includes a summary of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, followed by major findings regarding the role of FAs in modulation of endothelial-leukocyte interactions. In an in vitro model of the early steps of atherogenesis, the authors found that n-3 PUFAs, EPA and DHA in particular, significantly inhibited events connected with endothelial activation including the expression of adhesion molecules including VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), E-Selectin and ICAM-1 (intercellular). Inhibition occurred in a range of DHA concentrations compatible with nutritional supplementation of this fatty acid to individuals consuming a normal Western diet. The same effect was also seen for other cytokine-activated products (Interleukin-6 and –8). The authors compared various SFA, MUFA and n-6 and n-3 PUFAs for their VCAM-1 inhibitory activity. It appeared that as the number of double bonds increased, the greater was the ability of the FA in inhibiting endothelial activation. The authors postulated that this property may be relevant in the antiatherogenic and antiinflammatory properties of n-3 fatty acids. It has been shown that DHA, but not EPA, decreases endothelial surface expression of adhesion molecules. EPA and DHA are frequently combined as one entity, implying they have a similar spectra of biological and pharmacologic properties. This suggestion may not be valid. The authors indicate that further research on the individual properties of various FAs in disease states is warranted. Overall, the research reviewed in this paper support the use of n-3 fatty acids to reduce atherosclerosis and inflammation.

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