Background: Oxylipins mediate inflammation, vascular tension, and more. Their presence in lipoproteins could explain why lipoproteins mediate nearly identical activities.
Methods: To determine how oxylipins are distributed in the lipoproteins of hypertriglyceridemic subjects, and whether omega-3 fatty acids alter them in a manner consistent with improved cardiovascular health, we recruited 15 dyslipidemic subjects whose levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were at goal but who remained hypertriglyceridemic (200-499 mg/dL). They were treated them with the indicated dose of 4 g/d omega-3 acid ethyl esters (P-OM3) for 8 weeks. Measured oxylipins included mid-chain alcohols (HETEs, HEPEs and HDoHEs), ketones (KETEs), epoxides (as EpETrEs, EpETEs, and EpDPEs).
Results: At baseline, arachidonate-oxylipins (HETEs, KETEs, and EpETrEs) were most abundant in plasma with the greatest fraction of total abundance (mean |95% CI|) being carried in high density lipoproteins (HDL); 42% |31, 57| followed by very low density lipoproteins (VLDL); 27% |20, 36|; and LDL 21% |16, 28|. EPA- and DHA-derived oxylipins constituted less than 11% of total. HDL carried alcohols and epoxides but VLDL was also rich in ketones. Treatment decreased AA-derived oxylipins across lipoprotein classes (223% |233, 212|, p = 0.0003), and expanded EPA2(322% |241, 422|, p<0.0001) and DHA-derived oxylipins (123% |80, 176|, p<0.0001).
Conclusions: Each lipoprotein class carries a unique oxylipin complement. P-OM3 treatment alters the oxylipin content of all classes, reducing pro-inflammatory and increasing anti-inflammatory species, consistent with the improved inflammatory and vascular status associated with the treatment.
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