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Attenuation of niacin-induced prostaglandin D2 generation by omega-3 fatty acids in THP-1 macrophages and Langerhans dendritic cells

Authors VanHorn J, Altenburg JD, Harvey KA, Xu Z, Kovacs RJ, Siddiqui RA

Received 10 December 2011

Accepted for publication 18 January 2012

Published 14 March 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 37—50


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Justin VanHorn1, Jeffrey D Altenburg1, Kevin A Harvey1, Zhidong Xu1, Richard J Kovacs2, Rafat A Siddiqui1,3
1Cellular Biochemistry Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, Indianapolis, 2Krannert Institute of Cardiology, Indianapolis, 3Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Abstract: Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, is an organic compound that has several cardio-beneficial effects. However, its use is limited due to the induction of a variable flushing response in most individuals. Flushing occurs from a niacin receptor mediated generation of prostaglandins from arachidonic acid metabolism. This study examined the ability of docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), to attenuate niacin-induced prostaglandins in THP-1 macrophages. Niacin induced both PGD2 and PGE2 generation in a dose-dependent manner. Niacin also caused an increase in cytosolic calcium and activation of cytosolic phospholipase A2. The increase in PGD2 and PGE2 was reduced by both docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, but not by oleic acid. Omega-3 PUFAs efficiently incorporated into cellular phospholipids at the expense of arachidonic acid, whereas oleic acid incorporated to a higher extent but had no effect on arachidonic acid levels. Omega-3 PUFAs also reduced surface expression of GPR109A, a human niacin receptor. Furthermore, omega-3 PUFAs also inhibited the niacin-induced increase in cytosolic calcium. Niacin and/or omega-3 PUFAs minimally affected cyclooxygenase-1 activity and had no effect on cyclooxygenase -2 activity. The effects of niacin on PGD2 generation were further confirmed using Langerhans dendritic cells. Results of the present study indicate that omega-3 PUFAs reduced niacin-induced prostaglandins formation by diminishing the availability of their substrate, as well as reducing the surface expression of niacin receptors. In conclusion, this study suggests that the regular use of omega-3 PUFAs along with niacin can potentially reduce the niacin-induced flushing response in sensitive patients.

Keywords: flushing, prostaglandin E2, phospholipids, GPR109A, cardiovascular, docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid

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