Aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids work together to fight inflammation

Date: February 21, 2013
Source: Cell Press
Summary:
Experts tout the health benefits of low-dose aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids but the detailed
mechanisms involved in their effects are not fully known. Now researchers show that aspirin
helps trigger the production of molecules called resolvins that are naturally made by the body
from omega-3 fatty acids. These resolvins shut off, or “resolve,” the inflammation that underlies
destructive conditions such as inflammatory lung disease, heart disease, and arthritis.
Experts tout the health benefits of low-dose
aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids found in
foods like flax seeds and salmon, but the
detailed mechanisms involved in their effects
are not fully known. Now researchers reporting in the February 21 issue of the Cell Press journal
Chemistry & Biology show that aspirin helps trigger the production of molecules called resolvins
that are naturally made by the body from omega-3 fatty acids. These resolvins shut off, or
“resolve,” the inflammation that underlies destructive conditions such as inflammatory lung
disease, heart disease, and arthritis. “In this report, we found that one resolvin, termed resolvin
D3 from the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, persists longer at sites of inflammation than either resolvin
D1 or resolvin D2 in the natural resolution of inflammation in mice,” explains senior author Dr.
Charles Serhan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“This finding  suggests that this late resolution phase resolvin D3 might display unique
properties in fighting uncontrolled inflammation.” The researchers also confirmed that aspirin
treatment triggered the production of a longer acting form of resolvin D3 through a different
pathway. “Aspirin is able to modify an inflammatory enzyme to stop forming molecules that
propagate inflammation and instead produce molecules from omega-3 fatty acids, like resolvin
D3, that help inflammation to end,” explains coauthor Dr. Nicos Petasis of the University of
Southern California.
The team went on to reveal detailed information about resolvin D3. “We were able to
produce by chemical synthesis both resolvin D3 and aspirin-triggered resolvin D3 in pure form,
which allowed us to establish their complete structures and biological activities,” says Dr.
Petasis. When administered to human cells, both of these resolvins demonstrated potent anti-
inflammatory actions. When given to mice, the compounds also stimulated the resolution of
inflammation in the body.

“We also identified the human receptor that is activated by resolvin D3, which is critical in
understanding how resolvin D3 works in the body to resolve inflammation,” says Dr. Serhan. “With this new information, investigators will now also be able to study the pro-resolving and anti-inflammatory actions of resolvin D3 in other systems.” In addition, researchers will be interested in determining which inflammation-associated diseases might be treated with this newly identified resolvin.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jesmond Dalli, Jeremy W. Winkler, Romain A. Colas, Hildur Arnardottir, Chien-Yee C. Cheng, Nan Chiang, Nicos A. Petasis, Charles N. Serhan. Resolvin D3 and Aspirin-Triggered Resolvin D3 Are Potent Immunoresolvents. Chemistry & Biology, 2013; 20 (2): 188 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2012.11.010

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. “Aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids work together to fight inflammation.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130221141250.htm>.

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