Effects of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on ventricular function in dogs with healed myocardial infarctions: In vivo and in vitro studies

George E. Billman, Yoshinori Nishijima, Andriy E. Belevych, Dmitry Terentyev, Ying Xu, Kaylan M. Haizlip, Michelle M. Monasky, Nitisha Hiranandani, William S. Harris, Sandor Gyorke, Cynthia A. Carnes, Paul M.L. Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Since omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) can alter ventricular myocyte calcium handling, these fatty acids could adversely affect cardiac contractile function, particularly following myocardial infarction. Therefore, 4 wk after myocardial infarction, dogs were randomly assigned to either placebo (corn oil, 1 g/day, n = 16) or n-3 PUFAs supplement [docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) + eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) ethyl esters; 1, 2, or 4 g/day; n = 7, 8, and 12, respectively] groups. In vivo, ventricular function was evaluated by echocardiography before and after 3 mo of treatment. At the end of the 3-mo period, hearts were removed and in vitro function was evaluated using right ventricular trabeculae and isolated left ventricular myocytes. The treatment elicited significant (P < 0.0001) dose-dependent increases (16.4-fold increase with 4 g/day) in left ventricular tissue and red blood cell n-3 PUFA levels (EPA + DHA, placebo, 0.42 ± 0.04; 1 g/day, 3.02 ± 0.23; 2 g/day, 3.63 ± 0.17; and 4 g/day, 6.97 ± 0.33%). Regardless of the dose, n-3 PUFA treatment did not alter ventricular function in the intact animal (e.g., 4 g/day, fractional shortening: pre, 42.9 ± 1.6 vs. post, 40.1 ± 1.7%; placebo: pre, 39.2 ± 1.3 vs. post, 38.4 ± 1.6%). The developed force per cross-sectional area, changes in length- and frequency-dependent behavior in contractile force, and the inotropic response to β-adrenoceptor activation were also similar for trabeculae obtained from placebo- or n-3 PUFA-treated dogs. Finally, calcium currents and calcium transients were the same in myocytes from n-3 PUFA- and placebo-treated dogs. Thus dietary n-3 PUFAs did not adversely alter either in vitro or in vivo ventricular contractile function in dogs with healed infarctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1219-H1228
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Contractility
  • Diet
  • Force-frequency relationship
  • Frank-Starling mechanism
  • Heart failure
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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