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Mol Cell Biochem. 1996 Sep 6;162(1):59-64.

Dietary linolenic acid-mediated increase in vascular prostacyclin formation.

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Institute of Physiology II, University of Tübingen, Germany.


To define vascular effects of an enhanced dietary alpha-linolenic acid intake, 28 spontaneously hypertensive rats were fed a 3% sunflowerseed oil (44% linoleic acid) diet; in 3 groups (7 rats each), the diet was supplemented with 1, 2.5 or 5% linseed oil containing 62% alpha-linolenic acid. alpha-Linolenic acid was incorporated up to 12% in the aorta of the 5% linseed oil group. The eicosapentaenoic acid content was not significantly increased. The content of arachidonic acid and docosatetraenoic acid was moderately reduced in rats fed 5% linseed oil. The generation of 6-keto-PGF1 alpha (degradation product of prostacyclin) assessed by HPLC/electrochemical detection was, however, markedly increased (p < 0.05) in rats fed 2.5 and 5% linseed oil. The minor prostanoids TXB2, PGE2 and PGF2 alpha were not significantly altered. The high systolic and diastolic blood pressure of SHR monitored by radio telemetry was more effectively reduced (p < 0.05) in the light, i.e. sleep, cycle. An increased prostacyclin formation and lowered vascular arachidonic acid content associated with enhanced dietary alpha-linolenic acid intake would thus be expected to prove beneficial in the prevention of vascular disorders.

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