The objective of this experiment was to elucidate the effect(s) of eicosapentaenoic (20:5n3) vs docosahexaenoic (22:6n3) acid on prostaglandin biosynthesis and related thrombotic parameters. Diets were formulated to contain oils absent in (control) or enriched with either 20:5n3 (EPA) or 22:6n3 (DHA). The diets were fed to rats for three weeks and the following evaluated: 1) bleeding time; 2) blood viscosity; 3) platelet aggregation; 4) tissue fatty acids; 5) serum thromboxane (TXB2), aortic prostacylin (6-keto) and 6) arachidonic acid conversion to eicosanoids by lung microsomes. There were no significant differences between treatments for bleeding time, red blood cell viscosity or platelet aggregation. In EPA fed rats 20:5n3 increased significantly in platelet and aorta phospholipids. In platelets and aorta 20:4n6 was slightly decreased in EPA and DHA animals. Platelet 22:6n3 levels were not altered by treatment, but 22:6n3 increased in the aorta of EPA and DHA fed rats. Similar changes were noted in lung and liver fatty acid composition. Serum TXB2levels were significantly decreased only in the EPA vs control group. No differences were noted for aortic 6-keto levels or in the amount of hydroxy fatty acids, PGE, TXB2or PGF2 produced by lung microsomes. While fish oils have been shown to alter hematologic parameters in humans this study suggests that the rat is not similarly affected. Furthermore, it is evident that in the rat, 20:5n3 and not 22:6n3 is responsible for the alterations in platelet prostaglandin biosynthesis; however, these observations may not be directly applicable to other species.
- fish oil
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine