Dietary omega-3 fatty acids differentially influence ova release and ovarian cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 expression in rats.

Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 2009; 29 (3) doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2009.01.007

Authors: Broughton K Shane, Rule Daniel C, Ye Yi, Zhang Xiaochun, Driscoll Meghan et al.(1)

Affiliation: University of Wyoming, United States

Abstract: Ovulation is a prostaglandin (PG)-dependent process. Although n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have differing effects in the body, both reduce PG synthesis. We hypothesized that dietary n-3 fatty acids and CLA would differentially alter ovarian PG profiles through reductions in expression of enzymes involved in PG biosynthesis resulting in enhanced ovulation. Our objectives were to determine how dietary stearidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) at 0.3 g/100 g diet and mixed isomers of CLA at 0.7 g/100 g diet, human achievable levels with daily consumption of fish or beef and dairy products, respectively, would influence ovulation and ovarian cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2 expression in ovulation-induced rats. After 27 days on diet and ovulation induction, ovaries were isolated and analyzed from 22 pups per diet. Eicosapentaenoic acid ingestion reduced ova release by 16% while increasing PGE(2) and PGF(2alpha) release without altering COX-1 or COX-2 expression. Conversely, ovarian COX-1 expression was increased 135% with stearidonic acid ingestion associated with increased PGF(2alpha) without altering PGE(2) or ova release. Conjugated linoleic acid ingestion reduced COX-2 expression to 65% of that in rats consuming control and EPA diets; however, without affecting ovulation or PGs. Although it is generally believed that the COX-2 is the primary COX involved in ovulation, these results demonstrated that the n-3 PUFA differently affect ovarian COX-1 expression and that this effect differs from CLA, which reduced COX-2 expression. Further, although ovarian PGF(2alpha) is the primary PG altered by dietary n-3 PUFA, n-3 PUFA differentially influence ovarian PG biosynthesis and can decrease ova release, possibly induced through constitutive COX-1 enzyme expression.

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