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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Sep;89(4):221-5. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

The effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the inflammatory response of the amnion.

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  • 1University of Edinburgh/MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK. Electronic address: L.Frew@sms.ed.ac.uk.



To investigate the effect of omega-3 PUFAs, eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosohexanoic acid (DHA) on inflammatory cytokine production in the amnion.


Amnion explants were obtained at elective caesarean sections and cultured in vitro with EPA and DHA. IL-8 and IL-6 secretion was determined by ELISA, the role of PPARγ was investigated using specific agonists and antagonists and activity of MMP assessed by gelatin zymography.


A combination of EPA and DHA significantly reduced the concentration of IL-8 and IL-6 released into the supernatant compared to untreated controls (p<0.001). Stimulation of PPARγ with troglitazone reduced IL-8 production, and the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 partially reversed this effect. The activity of MMP-9 was also significantly reduced by treatment with EPA and DHA in combination compared to untreated control (p<0.05).


The omega-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA decrease the inflammatory response of the amnion, and this may be partially mediated through PPARγ.

© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Foetal membranes; Inflammation; PPARγ; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Pregnancy

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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