Dietary fish oil alters cardiomyocyte Ca2+ dynamics and antioxidant status

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The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in fish oil (FO) have been shown to protect against reperfusion arrhythmias, a manifestation of reperfusion injury, which is believed to be induced by the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and intracellular calcium (Ca2+) overload. Adult rats fed a diet supplemented with 10% FO had a higher proportion of myocardial n-3 PUFAs and increased expression of antioxidant enzymes compared with the saturated fat (SF)-supplemented group. Addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to cardiomyocytes isolated from rats in the SF-supplemented group increased the proportions of cardiomyocytes contracting in an asynchronous manner, increased the rate of Ca2+ influx, and increased the diastolic and systolic [Ca2+]i compared with the FO group. H2O2 exposure increased the membrane fluidity of cardiomyocytes from the FO group. These results demonstrate that dietary FO supplementation is associated with a reduction in the susceptibility of myocytes to ROS-induced injury and this may be related to membrane incorporation of n-3 PUFAs, increased antioxidant defenses, changes in cardiomyocyte membrane fluidity, and the ability to prevent rises in cellular Ca2+ in response to ROS.

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