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Mar Drugs. 2013 Aug 30;11(9):3324-34. doi: 10.3390/md11093324.

The effect of low-dose marine n-3 fatty acids on plasma levels of sCD36 in overweight subjects: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Center for Cardiovascular Research, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg 9000, Denmark.


CD36 is a scavenger receptor involved in lipid uptake and inflammation. Recently, non-cell-bound CD36 (sCD36) was identified in plasma and suggested to be a marker of lipid accumulation in the vessel wall. Marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may have cardioprotective effects. This study evaluated the effect of marine n-3 PUFA on sCD36 levels in overweight subjects. Fifty overweight subjects were randomized to 1.1 g of n-3 PUFA or 2 g of olive oil daily for six weeks. Neutrophils were isolated at baseline and after six weeks of treatment while an adipose tissue biopsy was obtained at baseline. The content of n-3 PUFA in adipose tissue and neutrophils was analyzed by gas chromatography, while plasma levels of sCD36 were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). After six weeks of supplement plasma sCD36 did not differ between supplements (P = 0.18). There was no significant correlation between plasma sCD36 levels and n-3 PUFA in neutrophils at baseline (r = -0.02, P = 0.88), after six weeks supplement (r = -0.03, P = 0.85) or in adipose tissue (r = 0.14, P = 0.34). This study therefore does not provide evidence for a cardioprotective effect of n-3 PUFA acting through a CD36-dependent mechanism.

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