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Toxicol Sci. 2017 Mar 1;156(1):300-310. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfw255.

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Protect Against Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Stress and Vascular Dysfunction.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131.


In cigarette smokers endothelial dysfunction, measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), precedes cardiovascular disease (CVD) and can be improved by supplementation with n - 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). We developed a mouse model of cigarette smoke (CS)-induced endothelial dysfunction that resembles impaired FMD observed in human cigarette smokers and investigated the mechanism by which n - 3 PUFAs mediate vasoprotection. We hypothesized that loss of nitric oxide (NO)-dependent vasodilation in CS-exposed mice would be prevented by dietary n - 3 PUFAs via a decrease in oxidative stress. C57BL/6 mice were fed a chow or n - 3 PUFA diet for 8 weeks and then exposed to mainstream CS or filtered air for 5 days, 2 h/day. Mesenteric arterioles were preconstricted with U46619 and dilated by stepwise increases in pressure (0-40 mmHg), resulting in increases in flow, ± inhibitor of NO production or antioxidant, Tempol. Markers of oxidative stress were measured in lung and heart. CS-exposed mice on a chow diet had impaired FMD, resulting from loss of NO-dependent dilation, compared with air exposed mice. Tempol restored FMD by normalizing NO-dependent dilation and increasing NO-independent dilation. CS-exposed mice on the n - 3 PUFA diet had normal FMD, resulting from a significant increase in NO-independent dilation, compared with CS-exposed mice on a chow diet. Furthermore, n - 3 PUFAs decreased two CS-induced markers of oxidative stress, 8-epiprostaglandin-F2α levels and heme oxygenase-1 mRNA, and significantly attenuated CS-induced cytochrome P4501A1 mRNA expression. These data demonstrate that dietary n - 3 PUFAs can protect against CS-induced vascular dysfunction via multiple mechanisms, including increasing NO-independent vasodilation and decreasing oxidative stress.


cigarette smoke; flow-mediated dilation; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; oxidative stress; vasodilation.

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