Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 789–797 | Cite as

Intravenous fish oil blunts the physiological response to endotoxin in healthy subjects

  • Thomas-Thi Pluess
  • Daniel Hayoz
  • Mette M. Berger
  • Luc Tappy
  • Jean-Pierre Revelly
  • Burkhard Michaeli
  • Yvon A. Carpentier
  • René L. ChioléroEmail author



To assess the effects of intravenous fish oil fat emulsion on the metabolic alterations induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge in healthy volunteers.


Two groups of eight healthy subjects were randomized to receive either two pharmacological doses of intravenous FO fat emulsion or no treatment. The FO group received twice 0.5 g/kg 10% emulsion (Omegaven) 48 and 24 h before investigation. LPS (2 ng/kg) was injected as a bolus on the investigation day. Systemic parameters, indirect calorimetry, heart rate variability, and platelet membrane phospholipid composition were measured.


Basal EPA and DHA content in platelet phospholipids was low (0.28% and 2.54%, respectively) and increased significantly after FO to 1.68% and 3.32%. LPS induced reproducible effects in all subjects. Fever was higher in the FO group than in controls; the difference was significant from t120 until t360. FO blunted the neuroendocrine response: the rise in plasma norepinephrine was sevenfold lower at t120 while the ACTH peak was fourfold lower. Tumor necrosis factor α was significantly lower between t360 and t180 in the FO group.


Two doses of intravenous FO fat emulsion modified the phospholipid composition of platelets in healthy subjects. FO blunted fever and increased the neuroendocrine and the inflammatory responses to LPS.


Endotoxin challenge Lipopolysacharide Fish oil supplement Cytokines Inflammatory response Neuroendocrine response 



The authors thank Mrs. Marie-Christine Cayeux (RN) and Mrs. Ludivine Soguel Alexander (RD) for their help, Mrs. A. Dufour and A. Chwalik (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium) for fatty acid analyses in platelet membranes, Ing. Paolo Castiglioni (PhD.) for helpful discussions, and Mr. P. Frascarolo (PhD.) for help with statistical outwork. The present study was performed with the support of the Swiss Fond National de Recherche, grant no. 3200B0-102064. Experimental emulsions were kindly provided by Fresenius Kabi AG (Bad Homburg, Germany).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas-Thi Pluess
    • 1
  • Daniel Hayoz
    • 2
  • Mette M. Berger
    • 1
  • Luc Tappy
    • 3
  • Jean-Pierre Revelly
    • 1
  • Burkhard Michaeli
    • 1
  • Yvon A. Carpentier
    • 4
  • René L. Chioléro
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Intensive Care MedicineCHUVLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Division of Hypertension and Vascular MedicineCHUVLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute of Human PhysiologyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Laboratory of Experimental SurgeryUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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