Dietary fish oil supplementation inhibits formation of endometriosis-associated adhesions in a chimeric mouse model

Fertil Steril. 2013 Feb;99(2):543-50. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.10.007. Epub 2012 Oct 25.


Objective: To examine whether dietary fish oil supplementation reduces development of spontaneous endometriosis-associated adhesions using an established model.

Design: Laboratory-based study.

Setting: Medical center research laboratory. PATIENT(S)/ANIMAL(S): Disease-free women of reproductive age and nude mice.

Intervention(s): Women were not provided any intervention. Mice were randomized to receive fish oil supplementation or control diet.

Main outcome measure(s): Experimental endometriosis was established in mice via injection of human endometrial tissue within 16 hours of ovariectomy. Mice were provided standard or menhaden fish oil-supplemented diets for ≥ 2 weeks before initiation of experimental endometriosis and until killing them 1 week later. At necropsy, mice were examined for the presence and extent of adhesions and endometriotic-like lesions. Tissues were excised and morphologically characterized.

Result(s): Adhesions/lesions were reduced in mice provided with dietary fish oil compared with control animals. Leukocytes were more numerous within the adhesions/lesions of the mice maintained on the standard diet compared with animals provided with fish oil. As indicated by staining intensity, collagen deposition was greater at adhesion sites within control mice compared with fish oil-supplemented animals.

Conclusion(s): Wound-healing associated with surgery created an inflammatory peritoneal microenvironment that promoted the development of both experimental endometriosis and adhesions in a murine model. Targeting excessive inflammation with fish oil may be an effective adjuvant therapy to reduce the development of postsurgical adhesions related to endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy
  • Endometriosis / pathology*
  • Endometriosis / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fish Oils