The resolution of inflammation through omega-3 fatty acids in atherosclerosis, intimal hyperplasia, and vascular calcification

Semin Immunopathol. 2019 Nov;41(6):757-766. doi: 10.1007/s00281-019-00767-y. Epub 2019 Nov 6.


Omega-3 fatty acids serve as the substrate for the formation of a group of lipid mediators that mediate the resolution of inflammation. The cardiovascular inflammatory response in atherosclerosis and vascular injury is characterized by a failure in the resolution of inflammation, resulting in a chronic inflammatory response. The proresolving lipid mediator resolvin E1 (RvE1) is formed by enzymatic conversion of the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and signals resolution of inflammation through its receptor ChemR23. Importantly, the resolution of cardiovascular inflammation is an active, multifactorial process that involves modulation of the immune response, direct actions on the vascular wall, as well as close interactions between macrophages and vascular smooth muscle cells. Promoting anti-atherogenic signalling through the stimulation of endogenous resolution of inflammation pathways may provide a novel therapeutic strategy in cardiovascular prevention.

Keywords: Inflammation; Lipoxygenase; Resolvins; Vascular injury.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Biomarkers
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / metabolism
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tunica Intima / metabolism*
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Vascular Calcification / etiology*
  • Vascular Calcification / metabolism*
  • Vascular Calcification / pathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Inflammation Mediators