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Abstract

The low incidence of myocardial infarction in Greenland Eskimos has been related to their traditional marine diet rich in eicosapentaenoic acid. However, whether dietary eicosapentaenoic acid is indeed transformed in man to antiaggregatory PGI3 and weakly proaggregatory TXA3 has not been clarified. In our studies we ingested either cod liver oil or mackerel both rich in eicosapentaenoic acid. Formation of TXB3, the hydrolysis product of TXA3, in platelet-rich plasma stimulated ex vivo with collagen was traced by capillary GC/EIMS. Via external standard, TXB3 formation in platelets was estimated to be 5–15% of TXB2 formation. From urine we extracted dinor metabolites of PGI according to a selective method. We utilized Δ17-2,3-dinor-6-keto-PGF (PGI3-M) as an index of total body production of PGI3 in analogy to 2,3-dinor-6-keto-PGF (PGI2-M), the major urinary metabolite of PGI2. We separated PGI2-M and PGI3-M as the Me, MO, Me3Si derivatives by capillary gas chromatography and identified PGI3-M by EI mass spectrometry. Excretion of PGI3-M, which was not detectable under control conditions, was 83±25 ng/24 h (SD) after ingestion of cod liver oil and 134±38 ng/24 h, respectively. Our findings with diets rich in EPA show that it is possible in man to change in vivo the spectrum of biologically active prostanoids by nutritional means and alter it in a favourable direction.