Inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis by eicosapentaenoic acid

Prostaglandins Med. 1979 Nov;3(5):269-78. doi: 10.1016/0161-4630(79)90068-5.


Eicosapentaenoic acid [20 : 5 (n-3)] is not oxidized by the purified cyclooxygenase from sheep vesicular glands in the conditions of low peroxide tone in which arachidonate [20 : 4 (n-6)] is rapidly oxygenated. When the level of peroxide in incubation mixtures is allowed to rise, there is a dramatic change in reactivity of the cyclooxygenase to react with 20 : 5 (n-3) at one-halt the rate and one-third the extent observed with 20 : 4 (n-6). Overall, the low peroxide levels expected in vivo would most probably cause the (n-3) type of fatty acid to be a general inhibitor of prostaglandin formation, through both reversible and irreversible actions at the enzyme site.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eicosanoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Prostaglandin Endoperoxides / biosynthesis*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Prostaglandins H / biosynthesis*
  • Sheep


  • Eicosanoic Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Prostaglandin Antagonists
  • Prostaglandin Endoperoxides
  • Prostaglandins H
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases