Dietary omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment endothelium-dependent relaxation to bradykinin in coronary microvessels of the pig

Br J Pharmacol. 1988 Dec;95(4):1191-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1988.tb11755.x.


1. The effects of chronic dietary supplementation with omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on endothelium-dependent relaxations were examined in isolated coronary microvessels of the pig. 2. Animals were maintained for four weeks with or without dietary supplementation of purified eicosapentaenoic acid (3.5 g daily) and docosahexaenoic acid (1.5 g daily). Fatty acid profiles of plasma lipids showed that only the fraction of eicosapentaenoic acid increased by the treatment, together with a decrease of that of arachidonic acid. 3. In the treated group, endothelium-dependent relaxations to bradykinin were significantly augmented, while contractions to acetylcholine or relaxations to nitroprusside were unaltered. 4. These results indicate that dietary omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly eicosapentaenoic acid) augment endothelium-dependent relaxations in coronary microvessels of the pig, without changing the ability of vascular smooth muscle to contract or relax.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bradykinin / pharmacology
  • Coronary Vessels / drug effects*
  • Coronary Vessels / physiology
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacology
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / drug effects
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects*
  • Muscle Relaxation / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology
  • Swine


  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Bradykinin