Exogenous modification of platelet membranes with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA reduces platelet procoagulant activity and thrombus formation

Mark K. Larson, Garth W. Tormoen, Lucinda J. Weaver, Kristen J. Luepke, Ishan A. Patel, Carl E. Hjelmen, Nicole M. Ensz, Leah S. McComas, Owen McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several studies have implicated the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in inhibition of normal platelet function, suggesting a role for platelets in EPA- and DHA-mediated cardioprotection. However, it is unclear whether the cardio-protective mechanisms arise from alterations to platelet-platelet, platelet-matrix, or platelet-coagulation factor interactions. Our previous results led us to hypothesize that EPA and DHA alter the ability of platelets to catalyze the generation of thrombin. We tested this hypothesis by exogenously modifying platelet membranes with EPA and DHA, which resulted in compositional changes analogous to increased dietary EPA and DHA intake. Platelets treated with EPA and DHA showed reductions in the rate of thrombin generation and exposure of platelet phosphatidylserine. In addition, treatment of platelets with EPA and DHA decreased thrombus formation and altered the processing of thrombin precursor proteins. Furthermore, treatment of whole blood with EPA and DHA resulted in increased occlusion time and a sharply reduced accumulation of fibrin under flow conditions. These results demonstrate that EPA and DHA inhibit, but do not eliminate, the ability of platelets to catalyze thrombin generation in vitro. The ability of EPA and DHA to reduce the procoagulant function of platelets provides a possible mechanism behind the cardioprotective phenotype in individuals consuming high levels of EPA and DHA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Volume304
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Fingerprint

Eicosapentaenoic Acid
Docosahexaenoic Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Thrombosis
Blood Platelets
Membranes
Thrombin
Protein Precursors
Blood Coagulation Factors
Phosphatidylserines
Fibrin

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coagulation
  • Fibrin
  • Thrombin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology

Cite this

Exogenous modification of platelet membranes with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA reduces platelet procoagulant activity and thrombus formation. / Larson, Mark K.; Tormoen, Garth W.; Weaver, Lucinda J.; Luepke, Kristen J.; Patel, Ishan A.; Hjelmen, Carl E.; Ensz, Nicole M.; McComas, Leah S.; McCarty, Owen.

In: American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, Vol. 304, No. 3, 01.02.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Larson, Mark K. ; Tormoen, Garth W. ; Weaver, Lucinda J. ; Luepke, Kristen J. ; Patel, Ishan A. ; Hjelmen, Carl E. ; Ensz, Nicole M. ; McComas, Leah S. ; McCarty, Owen. / Exogenous modification of platelet membranes with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA reduces platelet procoagulant activity and thrombus formation. In: American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology. 2013 ; Vol. 304, No. 3.
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