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N. Matesanz, G. Park, A. Devine, G. McVeigh, T. A. Gardiner, D. M. McDonald; Omega-3 Fatty Acids Modulate Angiogenic Processes in Retinal Microvascular Endothelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3980.
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Dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were recently shown to decrease vaso-obliteration and pathological retinal neovascularisation in an animal model of oxygen induced retinopathy. The mechanism for this beneficial effect was demonstrated to be mediated, in part, by a reduction in the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα. Omega-3 fatty acids however, are likely to modulate multiple signalling pathways and the aim of this study was to investigate the direct effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on angiogenic processes in isolated endothelial cells
Primary cultures of retinal microvascular endothelial cells (RMECs) were treated with the omega-3 PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) for 24-48h and their incorporation into cellular membranes verified by gas-liquid chromatography. Migration was determined by scratch-wound assay and proliferation by the incorporation of BrdU. Vascular tube formation was determined using a 3-dimensional model of angiogenesis described previously.
Preloading with DHA and EPA for 24-48h significantly inhibited the ability of retinal endothelial cells to migrate in a scratch-wound assay (30% and 44% respectively (p<0.05). Proliferation was similarly impaired; BrdU incorporation into DHA and EPA treated cells was inhibited by 65% (p<0.001) and 35% (p<0.01)) respectively. In addition, we also observed a significant reduction in vascular tube formation upon treatment with DHA and EPA.
Omega-3 fatty acids significantly inhibited the migration, proliferation and tube forming ability of retinal endothelial cells. These results demonstrate that in addition to modulating the pro-inflammatory milieu in the hypoxic retina, omega-3 fatty acids also have direct effects on angiogenic signalling pathways in isolated endothelial cells.
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