N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) affect inflammatory processes.

This study evaluated the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil on hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury in the rat. Parameters of liver injury (serum transaminases and histology) and oxidative stress (serum 8-isoprostanes and hepatic GSH and GSSG), were correlated with NF-kappaB DNA binding and FA composition and inflammatory cytokine release.

N-3 PUFA supplementation significantly increased liver n-3 PUFA content and decreased n-6/n-3 PUFA ratios. IR significantly modified liver histology and enhanced serum transaminases, 8-isoprotanes and inflammatory cytokines, with net reduction in liver GSH levels and net increment in those of GSSG. Early increase (3 h) and late reduction (20 h) in NF-kappaB activity was induced.

All IR-induced changes were normalized by n-3 PUFA supplementation. In conclusion, prevention of liver IR-injury was achieved by n-3 PUFA supplementation, with suppression of oxidative stress and recovery of pro-inflammatory cytokine homeostasis and NF-kappaB functionality lost during IR.