Platelet Redox Balance in Diabetic Patients with Hypertension improved by n-3 fatty acids

Denise McDonald, Fiona O'Prey, Maeve McConville, Adrian Devine, Gary McVeigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, largely as a result of defective production of cardioprotective nitric oxide and a concomitant rise in oxidative stress. Dietary interventions that could reverse this trend would be extremely beneficial. Here we investigated whether dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplementation positively affected platelet nitroso-redox imbalance.
We randomized hypertensive T2DM patients (T2DM HT; n = 22) and age-and-sex matched hypertensive study participants without diabetes (HT alone; n = 23) in a double-blind, crossover fashion to receive 8 weeks of n-3 PUFAs (1.8 g eicosapentaenoic acid and 1.5 g docosahexaenoic acid) or identical olive oil capsules (placebo), with an intervening 8-week washout period. Platelet nitrite and superoxide were measured and compared before and after treatment; 8-isoprostane was determined by ELISA and subcellular compartmentalization of the NAD(P)H oxidase subunit p47-phox examined by Western blotting.
The n-3 PUFA supplementation reduced 8-isoprostane and superoxide levels in platelets from T2DM HT, but not HT alone, participants, without effect on nitrite production. This coincided with a significant decrease in p47-phox membrane localization and a similar reduction in superoxide to that achieved with apocynin. At baseline, a subcohort of T2DM HT and HT alone participants showed evidence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-derived superoxide production, indicating defective enzymatic activity. This was reversed significantly in T2DM HT participants after treatment, demonstrating improved NOS function.
Our finding that n-3 PUFAs diminish platelet superoxide production in T2DM HT patients in vivo suggests a therapeutic role for these agents in reducing the vascular-derived oxidative stress associated with diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1005
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


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