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Omega-3 fatty acids and leukocyte-endothelium adhesion: novel anti-atherosclerotic actions

Baker, E. J., Yusof, M. H., Yaqoob, P., Miles, E. A. and Calder, P. C. (2018) Omega-3 fatty acids and leukocyte-endothelium adhesion: novel anti-atherosclerotic actions. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 64. pp. 169-181. ISSN 0098-2997

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.mam.2018.08.002


Endothelial cells (ECs) play a role in the optimal function of blood vessels. When endothelial function becomes dysregulated, the risk of developing atherosclerosis increases. Specifically, upregulation of adhesion molecule expression on ECs promotes the movement of leukocytes, particularly monocytes, into the vessel wall. Here, monocytes differentiate into macrophages and may become foam cells, contributing to the initiation and progression of an atherosclerotic plaque. The ability of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to influence the expression of adhesion molecules by ECs and to modulate leukocyte-endothelial adhesion has been studied in cell culture using various types of ECs, in animal feeding studies and in human trials; the latter have tended to evaluate soluble forms of adhesion molecules that circulate in the bloodstream. These studies indicate that n-3 PUFAs (both eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) can decrease the expression of key adhesion molecules, such as vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, by ECs and that this results in decreased adhesive interactions between leukocytes and ECs. These findings suggest that n-3 PUFAs may lower leukocyte infiltration into the vascular wall, which could contribute to reduced atherosclerosis and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Central Services > Office of the Vice Chancellor
ID Code:78856
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adhesion, Atherosclerosis, Endothelium, Inflammation, Leukocyte, Omega-3

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