MAG-EPA resolves lung inflammation in an allergic model of asthma

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Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by airways hyperresponsiveness, inflammation and airways remodelling involving reversible bronchial obstruction. Omega-3 fatty acids and their derivatives are known to reduce inflammation in several tissues including lung.


The effects of eicosapentaenoic acid monoacylglyceride (MAG-EPA), a newly synthesized EPA derivative, were determined on the resolution of lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in an in vivo model of allergic asthma.


Ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized guinea-pigs were treated or not with MAG-EPA administered per os. Isometric tension measurements, histological analyses, homogenate preparation for Western blot experiments or total RNA extraction for RT-PCR were performed to assess the effect of MAG-EPA treatments.


Mechanical tension measurements revealed that oral MAG-EPA treatments reduced methacholine (MCh)-induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness in OVA-sensitized guinea-pigs. Moreover, MAG-EPA treatments also decreased Ca2+ hypersensitivity of bronchial smooth muscle. Histological analyses and leucocyte counts in bronchoalveolar lavages revealed that oral MAG-EPA treatments led to less inflammatory cell recruitment in the lung of OVA-sensitized guinea-pigs when compared with lungs from control animals. Results also revealed a reduction in mucin production and MUC5AC expression level in OVA-sensitized animals treated with MAG-EPA. Following MAG-EPA treatments, the transcript levels of pro-inflammatory markers such as IL-5, eotaxin, IL-13 and IL-4 were markedly reduced. Moreover, per os MAG-EPA administrations reduced COX2 over-expression in OVA-sensitized animals.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

We demonstrate that MAG-EPA reduces airway hyperresponsiveness and lung inflammation in OVA-sensitized animals, a finding consistent with a decrease in IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, COX-2 and MUC5AC expression levels in the lung. The present data suggest that MAG-EPA represents a new potential therapeutic strategy for resolving inflammation in allergic asthma.

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