The high incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is related partially to chronic inflammation. n-3 Fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and to reduce the risk of CVD. Specialized Proresolving Lipid Mediators (SPMs) derived from the n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) actively promote the resolution of inflammation. This study evaluates the effects of n-3 fatty acid supplementation on plasma SPMs in patients with CKD.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention of factorial design, 85 patients were randomized to either n-3 fatty acids (4 g), Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) (200 mg), both supplements, or control (4 g olive oil), daily for 8 weeks. The SPMs 18-HEPE, 17-HDHA, RvD1, 17R-RvD1, and RvD2, were measured in plasma by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry before and after intervention.

Seventy four patients completed the 8 weeks intervention. n-3 Fatty acids but not CoQ significantly increased (P < 0.0001) plasma levels of 18-HEPE and 17-HDHA, the upstream precursors to the E- and D-series resolvins, respectively. RvD1 was significantly increased (P = 0.036) after n-3 fatty acids, but no change was seen in other SPMs. In regression analysis the increase in 18-HEPE and 17-HDHA after n-3 fatty acids was significantly predicted by the change in platelet EPA and DHA, respectively.

SPMs are increased after 8 weeks n-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with CKD. This may have important implications for limiting ongoing low grade inflammation in CKD.