Effect of omega-3 fatty acid ethyl esters on the oxylipin composition of lipoproteins in hypertriglyceridemic, statin-treated subjects

John W. Newman, Theresa L. Pedersen, Verdayne R. Brandenburg, William S. Harris, Gregory C. Shearer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0111471
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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