Dietary gamma-linolenic acid modulates macrophage-vascular smooth muscle cell interactions. Evidence for a macrophage-derived soluble factor that downregulates DNA synthesis in smooth muscle cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Macrophages and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are two of the major reactive cell types in atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of SMCs. The present study was designed to determine how dietary oils containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (primrose oil [PO]) and long-chain n-3 fatty acids (fish oil) influence the ability of macrophages to modulate SMC DNA synthesis in vitro. Mice were fed one of four diets containing 10% (wt/wt) corn oil (CO), PO, fish oil-CO mix (FC; 9:1, wt/wt), or fish oil-PO mix (FP; 1:3, wt/wt) for 2 weeks. Resident peritoneal macrophages were isolated from these mice and seeded on a semipermeable membrane with a 30-kDa cutoff. Macrophages were preincubated with or without 50 mumol/L indomethacin (a cyclooxygenase inhibitor) or 50 mumol/L L655,238 (a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor) for 30 minutes and subsequently cocultured with naive murine aortic SMCs grown on culture dishes. DNA synthesis in SMCs and prostaglandin formation in coculture supernatants were measured at the end of a 39-hour incubation period. SMC DNA synthesis was inhibited by 28% and 60% in PO and FP diets containing 10.1% and 8.2% GLA, respectively, relative to the control CO diet containing no GLA or long-chain n-3 fatty acid. A fourfold increase in the levels of PGE1, a potent antiproliferative eicosanoid derived from GLA, was observed in the PO and FP groups relative to the control CO group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Fan, Y. Y., Ramos, K. S., & Chapkin, R. S.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Fan, YY||Ramos, KS||Chapkin, RS

publication date

  • September 1995