The anti-inflammatory impact of omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty acids during the establishment of endometriosis-like lesions

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2014 Oct;72(4):392-402. doi: 10.1111/aji.12276. Epub 2014 Jun 5.


Problem: The anti-inflammatory impact of three polyunsaturated fatty acids (3-PUFA) in endometriosis is incompletely understood. The effect of 3-PUFA on endometriosis-like lesions is evaluated as a potential anti-inflammatory treatment target.

Method of study: Wild Type (WT) and transgenic Fat-1 mice (high levels of endogenous 3-PUFA) were utilized in a uterine tissue transplant endometriosis model. Experimental donor×host pairs included: WT×WT (WW), WT×Fat-1 (WF), and Fat-1×Fat-1 (FF). Cytokine content (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17A, IFN-γ, TNF-γ, MCP-1 and RANTES) and immunocellular composition in lesions was determined.

Results: Intralesion IL-6 in WF hosts was 99-fold lower than WW hosts (P=0.03). Compared to WW host lesions, Cox-2 levels were decreased in WF [1.5-fold (P=0.02)] and FF [1.2-fold (P=0.01)] host lesions, respectively, and intralesion VEGF expression was increased [1.8-fold; P=0.02 (WF) and 1.5-fold; P=0.01 (FF)]. Lesions in FF hosts demonstrated reduced phosphohistone 3 expression (70%; P=0.03) compared to WW control hosts.

Conclusions: Systemic host 3-PUFA levels influence immune, angiogenic, and proliferative factors implicated in the early establishment of endometriosis.

Keywords: Cyclooxygenase-2; endometriosis; immune; interleukin-6; omega-3 fatty acids; polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Diet
  • Endometriosis / diet therapy*
  • Endometriosis / drug therapy*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Inflammation / diet therapy
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Uterus / transplantation
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / biosynthesis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A, mouse
  • Ptgs2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 2