Omega-3 fatty acids in anti-inflammation (pro-resolution) and GPCRs

Prog Lipid Res. 2012 Jul;51(3):232-7. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Apr 20.


Omega-3 fatty acids, such as, DHA and EPA, have well established beneficial effects on human health, but their action mechanisms remain unknown. Recent pharmacological studies have suggested several molecular targets for the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids, namely, nuclear receptor PPARγ and the G protein-coupled receptor GPR120. Furthermore, the conversions of omega-3 fatty acids to anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving resolvins and protectins and the identifications of putative target GPCRs, ChemR23, BLT₁, ALX/FPR2, and GPR32, have drawn great attention. In addition, the pharmacology of omega-3 fatty acids is now under scrutiny. However, questions remain to be answered regarding the in vivo effects of omega-3 fatty acids at the molecular level. In this review, anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids are discussed from the viewpoint of molecular pharmacology, particularly with respect to the above-mentioned GPCRs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled