Polyunsaturated fatty acids and function of platelets and endothelial cells

Curr Opin Lipidol. 1996 Feb;7(1):24-9. doi: 10.1097/00041433-199602000-00006.


Fish oil diets, rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, are considered to have an antithrombotic effect. Both platelets and endothelial cells play a crucial role in the regulation of thrombosis and haemostasis. There is substantial evidence that, in these cells, fish oil-derived polyunsaturated fatty acids can replace the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, arachidonic acid, in the membrane phospholipids and can modify those cellular reactions in which the latter fatty acid participates. However, it now appears that dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are less potent than, for example, aspirin in modifying the activation properties of these cell systems. This suggests the possible involvement of additional cells or factors in mediating the antithrombotic potential of fish oil fatty acids.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Platelet Activation / drug effects
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Fish Oils
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors