Effect of dietary fish oil on lung lipid profile and hypoxic pulmonary hypertension

S. L. Archer, Gerhard J Johnson, R. L. Gebhard, W. L. Castleman, Allen S Levine, J. Y. Westcott, N. F. Voelkel, D. P. Nelson, E. K. Weir

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40 Scopus citations


The effects of dietary poly-unsaturated fats on chronic hypoxic pulmonary hypertension were assessed in rats fed fish oil, corn oil, or a lower fat, 'high-carbohydrate' diet (regular) beginning 1 mo before the start of hypoxia (0.4 atm, n = 30 for each). Mean pulmonary arterial pressures were lower in the chronically hypoxic rats fed fish oil (19.7 ± 1.8 mm Hg) than in the rats fed corn oil (25.3 ± 1.6 mm Hg) or regular diets (27.5 ± 1.5 mm Hg, P < 0.05). The fish oil diet increased lung eicosapentaenoic acid 50-fold and depleted lung arachidonic acid 60% (P < 0.0001 for each). Lung thromboxane B2 and 6-ketoprostaglandin F(1α) levels were lower, and platelet aggregation, in response to collagen, was reduced in rats fed fish oil. Chronically hypoxic rats fed fish oil had lower mortality rates than the other hypoxic rats. They also had lower blood viscosity, as well as less right ventricular hypertrophy and less peripheral extension of vascular smooth muscle to intra-acinar pulmonary arteries (P < 0.05 for each). The mechanism by which dietary fish oil decreases pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling during chronic hypoxia remains uncertain. The finding that a fish oil diet can reduce the hemodynamic and morphological sequelae of chronic hypoxia may have therapeutic significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1662-1673
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


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