Dietaryω3 fatty acids modulate the substrate for post-operative atrial fibrillation in a canine cardiac surgery model.
Cardiovasc Res. 2011 Mar 1;89(4):852-61. Epub 2010 Nov 30. PMID: 21123218
Department of Molecular Cardiology, NE-61 Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
AIMS: Pre-treatment with dietaryω3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFA) has been reported to reduce the incidence of new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) following cardiac surgery. In a canine cardiac surgery model, we evaluated the impact of dietary ω3-PUFA on atrial electrophysiological properties, inflammatory markers, the atrial endothelin-1 (ET-1) system, and the expression and distribution of connexin 43.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Adult mongrel dogs received either normal chow (NC, n = 11) or chow supplemented with fish oil (FO, 0.6 gω3-PUFA/kg/day, n = 9) for 3 weeks before surgery. A left thoracotomy was performed, and the left atrial appendage (LAA) was excised. Atrial pacing/recording wires were placed, and the pericardium/chest was closed. The atrial ratio of ω6/ω3 lipids decreased from 15-20 in NC to 2-3 in FO. FO treatment lowered pre-surgical and stabilized post-surgical arachidonate levels. Peak neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio was lower and decayed faster in FO-treated animals. Extensive inflammatory cell infiltration was present in NC atria, but was reduced in FO-treated dogs. FO-treated animals had lower post-surgical atrial expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and reduced plasma ET-1. Expression of ET-1 and inositol trisphosphate receptor type-2 proteins in the LAA was also reduced. FO treatment prolonged post-operative atrial effective refractory period, slowed heart rate, and enhancedheart rate variability. Importantly, AF (>30 s) was inducible in four of six NC dogs, but no FO dogs.
CONCLUSION: Dietary FO attenuated AF inducibility following cardiac surgery by modulating autonomic tone and heart rate. FO also reduced atrial inflammation, iNOS, and ET-1 expression.