High omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratios in culture medium reduce endometrial-cell survival in combined endometrial gland and stromal cell cultures from women with and without endometriosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To study the effects of omega -3 and omega -6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) on in vitro proliferation of endometrial cells and their production of the cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8).

Design: In vitro study.

Setting: Obstetrics and gynecology department, University of Aberdeen.

Patient(s): Women attending an infertility clinic.

Intervention(s): In vitro cell cultures using culture mediums supplemented with normal and high ratios of omega -3 PUFA and omega -6 PUFA.

Main Outcome Measure(s): In vitro survival and production of IL-8 by dispersed endometrial cells.

Result(s): In vitro survival of endometrial cells from women with and without endometriosis was significantly reduced in the presence of high omega -3:omega -6 PUFA ratios compared with cells incubated in the absence of fatty acids, in balanced w-3:w-6 PUFA ratios, and in high omega -6:omega -3 PUFA ratios. Endometrial cells from women with endometriosis secreted higher concentrations of IL-8, especially in the presence of high omega -3:omega -6 PUFA ratios.

Conclusion(s): omega -3 PUFA may have a suppressive effect on the in vitro survival of endometrial cells and omega -3 PUFA be useful in the management of endometriosis by reducing the inflammatory response and modulating cytokine function. (Fertil Steril(R) 2001,;76:717-22. (C) 2001 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-722
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • fatty acids
  • endometriosis
  • cytokines
  • prostaglandins
  • cell culture
  • tumor-necrosis-factor
  • peritoneal-fluid
  • arachidonic-acid
  • growth-factor
  • dietary N-3
  • interleukin-8
  • nutrition
  • mediators
  • adhesion

Cite this