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Immunity. 2013 Jun 27;38(6):1154-63. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.05.015.

Omega-3 fatty acids prevent inflammation and metabolic disorder through inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

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Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui 230027, China.


Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FAs) have potential anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of inflammatory human diseases, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we show that stimulation of macrophages with ω-3 FAs, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and other family members, abolished NLRP3 inflammasome activation and inhibited subsequent caspase-1 activation and IL-1β secretion. In addition, G protein-coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) and GPR40 and their downstream scaffold protein β-arrestin-2 were shown to be involved in inflammasome inhibition induced by ω-3 FAs. Importantly, ω-3 FAs also prevented NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent inflammation and metabolic disorder in a high-fat-diet-induced type 2 diabetes model. Our results reveal a mechanism through which ω-3 FAs repress inflammation and prevent inflammation-driven diseases and suggest the potential clinical use of ω-3 FAs in gout, autoinflammatory syndromes, or other NLRP3 inflammasome-driven inflammatory diseases.

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