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Atherosclerosis. 1991 Jun;88(2-3):193-201.

Effects of dietary fish oil supplementation on platelet aggregability and platelet membrane fluidity in normolipemic subjects with and without high plasma Lp(a) concentrations.

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Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria.


The purpose of this study was to compare the relative effect of n-3 fatty acids on plasma lipids and platelet function in normolipemic subjects (n = 8) with plasma Lp(a) levels greater than 30 mg/dl and normolipemic subjects (n = 7) without detectable plasma Lp(a) concentrations. Six weeks of dietary supplementation (3.8 g EPA and 2.9 g DHA/d) significantly reduced (P less than 0.005) plasma TGs in both groups whereas no changes of plasma TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, and Lp(a), respectively, were found. Collagen- or thrombin-stimulated platelet aggregation and collagen- or thrombin-induced TXB2 generation from platelets decreased by approx. 45% in Lp(a)-negative and Lp(a)-positive platelet donors after a 6 week dietary intake. Four more weeks without n-3 supplementation restored the pretreatment values of TGs, platelet aggregability and TXB2 release. The biophysical properties of platelets from normolipemics with and without high plasma Lp(a) concentrations revealed a similar structural order of platelets at 37 degrees C using DPH, TMA-DPH, or 6-AS as fluorescent probes. Also similar temperature-dependent changes in platelet fluidity from 37 degrees C to 17 degrees C were observed in platelet preparations from Lp(a)-positive and Lp(a)-negative subjects. However, no subtle changes in the structural order of platelets due to nutrient intakes were found in all subjects (n = 15, 19-28 yrs) using fluorescence polarization technique. The present data suggest a similar in vitro platelet behaviour from normolipemic subjects with and without high plasma levels of Lp(a) (which is considered a risk for premature atherosclerosis) in contrast to platelet aggregability and platelet fluidity in certain hyperlipidemic stages.

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