Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Protect Against Cigarette Smoke-Induced Oxidative Stress and Vascular Dysfunction. Academic Article uri icon


  • In cigarette smokers endothelial dysfunction, measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), precedes cardiovascular disease (CVD) and can be improved by supplementation with n - 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). We developed a mouse model of cigarette smoke (CS)-induced endothelial dysfunction that resembles impaired FMD observed in human cigarette smokers and investigated the mechanism by which n - 3 PUFAs mediate vasoprotection. We hypothesized that loss of nitric oxide (NO)-dependent vasodilation in CS-exposed mice would be prevented by dietary n - 3 PUFAs via a decrease in oxidative stress. C57BL/6 mice were fed a chow or n - 3 PUFA diet for 8 weeks and then exposed to mainstream CS or filtered air for 5 days, 2 h/day. Mesenteric arterioles were preconstricted with U46619 and dilated by stepwise increases in pressure (0-40 mmHg), resulting in increases in flow, ± inhibitor of NO production or antioxidant, Tempol. Markers of oxidative stress were measured in lung and heart. CS-exposed mice on a chow diet had impaired FMD, resulting from loss of NO-dependent dilation, compared with air exposed mice. Tempol restored FMD by normalizing NO-dependent dilation and increasing NO-independent dilation. CS-exposed mice on the n - 3 PUFA diet had normal FMD, resulting from a significant increase in NO-independent dilation, compared with CS-exposed mice on a chow diet. Furthermore, n - 3 PUFAs decreased two CS-induced markers of oxidative stress, 8-epiprostaglandin-F2α levels and heme oxygenase-1 mRNA, and significantly attenuated CS-induced cytochrome P4501A1 mRNA expression. These data demonstrate that dietary n - 3 PUFAs can protect against CS-induced vascular dysfunction via multiple mechanisms, including increasing NO-independent vasodilation and decreasing oxidative stress.© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:

publication date

  • March 2017