Interruption of vascular thrombus formation and vascular lesion formation by dietary n-3 fatty acids in fish oil in nonhuman primates.
BACKGROUND Because of discrepant claims regarding the relative biological effects of n-3 fatty acids (n-3FAs), we have concurrently measured the effects of dietary n-3FAs on blood and vascular lipid composition, hemostatic function, blood thrombotic responses, vascular thrombus formation, and vascular lesion formation in baboons.
METHODS AND RESULTS Dietary n-3FAs displaced n-6FAs in plasma, platelets, blood vessels, and corresponding urinary eicosanoid metabolites (p < 0.01 in all cases) within weeks after initiation of a semipurified diet containing 1 g/kg per day n-3FA-ethyl ester concentrate (composed of two thirds eicosapentanoic acid and one third docosahexanoic acid). Coincidentally, platelet hemostatic function became minimally impaired (template bleeding times prolonged from 4.3 +/- 0.5 minutes to 7.6 +/- 1.3 minutes, p = 0.039); concentrations of collagen producing half-maximal platelet aggregation increased (from 6.4 +/- 2.1 to 8.5 +/- 2.5 micrograms/mL, p = 0.045); and tissue factor expression by endotoxin-stimulated blood monocytes fell (from 6.5 +/- 1.2 to 1.7 +/- 0.14 mU/10(6) cells, p < 0.005). Dietary n-3FAs decreased deposition of platelets onto thrombogenic segments of Dacron vascular graft incorporated into chronic exteriorized femoral arteriovenous (AV) shunts, a thrombotic process resistant to the effects of both aspirin and heparin (111In-labeled platelet deposition decreased from 14.1 +/- 1.4 x 10(9) platelets/5-cm segment at 40-60 minutes with occlusion to 7.5 +/- 0.8 x 10(9) platelets/5-cm segment without occlusion; p < 0.001). Platelet deposition onto segments of endarterectomized homologous normal aorta in the AV shunts of n-3FA-treated animals was similarly reduced (from 4.4 +/- 0.9 to 1.8 +/- 0.4 x 10(9) platelets; p < 0.01). Dietary n-3FAs interrupted vascular thrombus formation at sites of surgical carotid endarterectomy (platelet deposition, 1.5 +/- 0.4 versus 4.4 +/- 1.0 x 10(9) platelets in untreated controls; p < 0.001). Moreover, endarterectomized aortic segments (EASs) from n-3FA-treated donors exhibited little capacity to induce thrombus formation when tested in the AV shunts of control recipient animals (0.24 +/- 0.10 versus 4.4 +/- 0.90 x 10(9) platelets). However, in the converse crossover experiments, EASs from control animals actively accumulated platelets when studied in the AV shunts of n-3FA-treated animals (1.8 +/- 0.4 x 10(9) platelets; p < 0.01 versus n-3FA-treated EASs in shunts of normal animals). Dietary n-3FAs also abolished vascular lesion formation at sites of carotid endarterectomy 6 weeks after surgery (cross-sectional area of neointima 0.048 +/- 0.031 mm2 compared with 0.428 +/- 0.104 mm2 in control arteries; p = 0.010).
CONCLUSIONS In nonhuman primates, dietary n-3FAs in high doses eliminate both vascular thrombus formation and vascular lesion formation after mechanical vascular injury while largely sparing hemostatic function and modestly reducing blood thrombotic responses. These effects are attributed to selective n-3FA-dependent alterations in cellular membrane functions.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association