The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 206, Issue 2, pp 129–139

Membrane Effects of the n-3 Fish Oil Fatty Acids, which Prevent Fatal Ventricular Arrhythmias

Authors

    • Department of MedicineHarvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Y.-F. Xiao
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
    • Medtronic Inc.
  • J.X. Kang
    • Department of MedicineHarvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital
  • G.E. Billman
    • Department of Physiology and Cell BiologyThe Ohio State University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00232-005-0789-9

Cite this article as:
Leaf, A., Xiao, Y., Kang, J. et al. J Membrane Biol (2005) 206: 129. doi:10.1007/s00232-005-0789-9

Abstract

Fish oil fatty acids are known to exert beneficial effects on the heart and vascular systems. We have studied the membrane effects on ion channel conductance by the n-3 fish oil fatty acids that account for these beneficial effects. We have confirmed that these fatty acids prevent fatal cardiac arrhythmias in a reliable dog model of sudden cardiac death. This finding was followed by experiments indicating that the n-3 fatty acids electrically stabilize heart cells and do so largely through modulation of the fast voltage-dependent Na+ currents and the L-type Ca2+ channels in a manner, which makes the heart cells resistant to arrhythmias. Others and we have demonstrated that these membrane effects on the heart can prevent fatal cardiac arrhythmias in humans.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005