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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2016 Jul;68(1):33-40. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0000000000000379.

Eicosapentaenoic Acid Inhibits Oxidation of ApoB-containing Lipoprotein Particles of Different Size In Vitro When Administered Alone or in Combination With Atorvastatin Active Metabolite Compared With Other Triglyceride-lowering Agents.

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*Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and †Elucida Research LLC, Beverly, MA.


Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is a triglyceride-lowering agent that reduces circulating levels of the apolipoprotein B (apoB)-containing lipoprotein particles small dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL), very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL). These benefits may result from the direct antioxidant effects of EPA. To investigate this potential mechanism, these particles were isolated from human plasma, preincubated with EPA in the absence or presence of atorvastatin (active) metabolite, and subjected to copper-initiated oxidation. Lipid oxidation was measured as a function of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances formation. EPA inhibited sdLDL (IC50 ∼2.0 μM) and LDL oxidation (IC50 ∼2.5 μM) in a dose-dependent manner. Greater antioxidant potency was observed for EPA in VLDL. EPA inhibition was enhanced when combined with atorvastatin metabolite at low equimolar concentrations. Other triglyceride-lowering agents (fenofibrate, niacin, and gemfibrozil) and vitamin E did not significantly affect sdLDL, LDL, or VLDL oxidation compared with vehicle-treated controls. Docosahexaenoic acid was also found to inhibit oxidation in these particles but over a shorter time period than EPA. These data support recent clinical findings and suggest that EPA has direct antioxidant benefits in various apoB-containing subfractions that are more pronounced than those of other triglyceride-lowering agents and docosahexaenoic acid.

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