Oral administration of eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid modifies cardiac function and ameliorates congestive heart failure in male Rats

Tomoko T. Yamanushi, Hideaki Kabuto, Eiichiro Hirakawa, Najma Janjua, Fusako Takayama, Mitsumasa Mankura

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This study assessed the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on normal cardiac function (part 1) and congestive heart failure (CHF) (part 2) through electrocardiogram analysis and determination of EPA, DHA, and arachidonic acid (AA) concentrations in rat hearts. In part 2, pathologic assessments were also performed. For part 1 of this study, 4-wk-old male rats were divided into a control group and 2 experimental groups. The rats daily were orally administered (1 g/kg body weight) saline, EPA-ethyl ester (EPA-Et; E group), or DHA-ethyl ester (DHA-Et; D group), respectively, for 28 d. ECGs revealed that QT intervals were significantly shorter for groups E and D compared with the control group (P ± 0.05). Relative to the control group, the concentration of EPA was higher in the E group and concentrations of EPA and DHA were higher in the D group, although AA concentrations were lower (P ± 0.05). In part 2, CHF was produced by subcutaneous injection of monocrotaline into 5-wk-old rats. At 3 d before monocrotaline injection, rats were administered either saline, EPA-Et, or DHA-Et as mentioned above and then killed at 21 d. The study groups were as follows: normal + saline (control), CHF + saline (H group), CHF + EPA-Et (HE group), and CHF + DHA-Et (HD group). QT intervals were significantly shorter (P ≤ 0.05) in the control and HD groups compared with the H and HE groups. Relative to the H group, concentrations of EPA were higher in the HE group and those of DHA were higher in the control and HD groups (P ≤ 0.05). There was less mononuclear cell infiltration in the myocytes of the HD group than in the H group (P = 0.06). The right ventricles in the H, HE, and HD groups showed significantly increased weights (P ≤ 0.05) compared with controls. The administration of EPA-Et or DHA-Et may affect cardiac function by modification of heart fatty acid composition, and the administration of DHA-Et may ameliorate CHF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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