Acta Vet. Brno 2018, 87: 309-320

Effect of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on wound healing using animal models – a review

Tomáš Komprda

Mendel University in Brno, Department of Food Technology, Brno, Czech Republic

Received April 11, 2018
Accepted December 7, 2018

The present review summarizes results of experiments, mostly performed on rodents, regarding the effects of fish oil (FO) and its biologically active constituents, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on the healing of cutaneous wounds, but also of selected other types of injury. Structure, metabolism and functions of EPA/DHA in an organism are briefly mentioned, with an emphasis on the ability of these long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to modulate inflammation. Wound healing as a complex programmed sequence of cellular and molecular processes including inflammation, cell migration, angiogenesis, synthesis of provisional matrix, collagen deposition and reepithelialisation is briefly described. Markers for evaluation of the healing process include planimetry indices, tensile strength, quantification of collagen synthesis including hydroxyproline determination, histopathology/immunohistochemistry and genomic/proteomic markers. As far as effects on wound healing are concerned, the main emphasis is put on the outcomes of experiments using a dietary FO/DHA/EPA administration, but the results of experiments with a parenteral application are also mentioned, together with selected relevant in vitro studies. An important conclusion from the above-mentioned studies is an inconsistency of FO/DHA/EPA effects on wound healing: decreased/increased collagen deposition; lower/higher counts of the inflammatory cells in the healing tissue; increased/decreased concentration of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines; DHA accelerated/delayed wound healing process. Some experiments indicate superiority of DHA over EPA regarding wound healing.


The study was supported by the Internal Grant Agency of the Mendel University in Brno, project No. TP3/2017.


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