The rare incidence of cardiovascular disease in Eskimos has been ascribed to their diet rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n-3) and hence a possible formation of trienoic prostanoids. In this study we compare endogenous formation of prostacyclin (PGI), which is formed by the endothelial cell, and thromboxane (TXA), which is formed by platelets in 20 Eskimos and 20 age and sex matched Danish controls by measurement of the main urinary metabolites. Considerable formation of bioactive PGI3from dietary EPA was shown in Eskimos, which was barely detectable in the controls. Furthermore synthesis of PGI2was significantly higher in Eskimos in spite of a markedly lower arachidonate content in membrane lipids. In contrast formation of TXA2,3was lower in Eskimos as compared to the Danish controls. We conclude, that the balance between pGI and TXA, which may regulate the interaction of platelet and vessel wall, is favourably shifted in Greenland Eskimos to an antithrombotic state. © 1989.
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