, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 998-1003

Guinea pig epidermis generates putative anti-inflammatory metabolites from fish oil polyunsaturated fatty acids

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Clinical studies have indicated that dietary fish oil may have therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis, a hyperproliferative, inflammatory skin disorder characterized by elevated LTB4. To evolve a possible mechanism for these beneficial effects, we determined the metabolic fate of fish oil derived n-3 fatty acids in the skin. Specifically, we incubated guinea pig epidermal enzyme preparations with [3H]eicosapentaenoic acid (20∶5n−3) and [14C]docosahexaenoic acid (22∶6n−3). Analyses of the radiometabolites revealed the transformation of these n−3 fatty acids into n−6 lipoxygenase (arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase) products: 15-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (15-HEPE) and 17-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid (17-HDHE), respectively. Since 15-lipoxygenase products have been suggested as possible endogenous inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase (an enzyme which catalyzes the formation of LTB4) we tested the ability of 15-HEPE and 17-HDHEin vitro to inhibit the activity of the 5-lipoxygenase. Incubations of these metabolites with enzyme preparations from rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-1) cells demonstrated that 15-HEPE (IC50=28 μM) and 17-HDHE (IC50=20 μM) are respectively potent inhibitors of RBL-I-5-lipoxygenase. The inhibitory potential of these fish oil metabolites provides a possible mechanism by which fish oil might act to decrease local cutaneous levels of LTB4, and thereby alleviate psoriatic symptoms.