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J Lipid Res. 2013 Aug;54(8):2247-54. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M039842. Epub 2013 May 30.

Maternal dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake increases resolvin and protectin levels in the rat placenta.

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Schools of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia.


Placental inflammation is associated with several pregnancy disorders. Inflammation is limited by anti-inflammatory and proresolving mechanisms, the latter partly mediated by resolvins and protectins derived from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFA). We examined effects of dietary n-3PUFAs on levels of resolvins, protectins, and lipoxygenase (ALOX) enzymes in the rat placenta. Rats consumed standard (Std) or high n-3PUFA (Hn3) diets from day 1 of pregnancy; tissues were collected on day 17 or 22 (term = day 23). Maternal Hn3 diet increased resolvin and protectin precursors, 18R/S-HEPE (P < 0.001), and 17R/S-HDHA (P < 0.01) at both days. Resolvins (17R-RvD1 and RvD1) increased at day 22 (P < 0.001) after Hn3 consumption, coincident with higher Alox15b and Alox5 mRNA expression, while RvD2 increased at both days (P < 0.05). Protectins, PD1, and 10S,17S-DiHDHA increased over late gestation (P < 0.001), coincident with higher Alox15 mRNA expression (P < 0.001) and further increased with Hn3 diet (P < 0.05). Maternal systemic and placental proinflammatory mediators were not suppressed by Hn3 diet; systemic IL1β, placental Il1β, and Il6 mRNA expression increased marginally with Hn3 at day 22 (P < 0.001), while Ptgs1 (Cox1) expression increased both days (P < 0.05). Our data indicate that maternal n-3PUFA supplementation enhances expression of enzymes in the n-3PUFA metabolic pathway and increases placental levels of resolvins and protectins.


inflammation; lipoxygenase; n-3PUFA; pregnancy

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