Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertriglyceridemia mechanisms in cardiovascular disease

Mol Cell Biochem. 2021 Feb;476(2):993-1003. doi: 10.1007/s11010-020-03965-7. Epub 2020 Nov 11.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world's most recognized and notorious cause of death. It is known that increased triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) and remnants of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (RLP) are the major risk factor for CVD. Furthermore, hypertriglyceridemia commonly leads to a reduction in HDL and an increase in atherogenic small dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL or LDL-III) levels. Thus, the evidence shows that Ω-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have a beneficial effect on CVD through reprogramming of TRL metabolism, reducing inflammatory mediators (cytokines and leukotrienes), and modulation of cell adhesion molecules. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide the molecular mechanism related to the beneficial effect of Ω-3 PUFA on the lowering of plasma TAG levels and other atherogenic lipoproteins. Taking this into account, this study also provides the TRL lowering and anti-inflammatory mechanism of Ω-3 PUFA metabolites such as RvE1 and RvD2 as a cardioprotective function.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; CVD; Hypertriglyceridemia; Omega-3 PUFA; Triglyceride-rich lipoprotein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3