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Ann Surg. 1991 Feb;213(2):166-76.

Diets enriched with N-3 fatty acids ameliorate lactic acidosis by improving endotoxin-induced tissue hypoperfusion in guinea pigs.

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Cancer Research Institute, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.


The effect of 6 weeks dietary lipid manipulation on the acute physiologic response to 7-hour continuous endotoxin infusion in guinea pigs was examined. One diet was enriched with N-3 fatty acids, whereas the other contained N-6 fatty acids, primarily linoleic acid. Animals fed N-6 fatty acids developed significant lactic acidemia, microvascular muscle hypoperfusion, and pulmonary infiltrates in response to endotoxin infusion. N-3 fatty acid-fed animals demonstrated improved lactate levels, microvascular muscle perfusion, and lung morphology compared to N-6 fatty acid-fed animals after endotoxin infusion. There was no significant change in cardiac output, PaO2, or mean arterial blood pressure at the end of the endotoxin infusion in either group. Pretreatment with indomethacin, or BM 13505, a specific thromboxane A2 receptor blocker, ameliorated the development of metabolic acidosis in N-6 fatty acid-fed animals, demonstrating a role for prostanoids in the sequelae of endotoxemia. The ability of dietary pretreatment with N-3 fatty acids to influence favorably the physiologic response to endotoxin represents a novel nutrient-metabolic interaction with potential therapeutic implications.

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