An article appearing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation–Insight explains the role of omega 3s as specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) in asthma and reveals how the fatty acids are less effective when the disease is treated with corticosteroid drugs. “Recently, it was discovered that omega-3-derived SPMs are key mediators that possess proresolving activities,” Nina Kim and colleagues write. “Evidence supports the hypothesis that asthma represents, at least in part, a failure to resolve chronic inflammation, with an imbalance between proinflammatory and proresolving mediators.
The research team compared B cells in blood collected from 17 asthma patients to those of healthy donors. “In our study, we show that the DHA-derived mediators, 17-HDHA and RvD1, reduced spontaneous as well as stimulated IgE production in B cells from asthma patients with a broad spectrum of disease severity,” the authors write. “Our results suggest that specialized proresolving mediators are important potential therapeutics for most patients with allergic asthma. Further, our results highlight that immunosuppressive therapies like oral corticosteroids also suppress endogenous resolution pathways and suggest one method by which oral corticosteroids may actually exacerbate allergic diseases.”