- C. Westphal
- A. Konkel
- W.H. Schunck
- Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
- Adv Exp Med Biol 851: 151-187
Various members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily have the capacity of metabolizing omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 and n-3 PUFAs). In most mammalian tissues, CYP2C and CYP2J enzymes are the major PUFA epoxygenases, whereas CYP4A and CYP4F subfamily members function as PUFA hydroxylases. The individual CYP enzymes differ in their substrate specificities as well as regio- and stereoselectivities and thus produce distinct sets of epoxy and/or hydroxy metabolites, collectively termed CYP eicosanoids. Nutrition has a major impact on the endogenous CYP-eicosanoid profile. "Western diets" rich in n-6 PUFAs result in a predominance of arachidonic acid-derived metabolites, whereas marine foodstuffs rich in n-3 PUFAs shift the profile to eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid-derived metabolites. In general, CYP eicosanoids are formed as second messengers of numerous hormones, growth factors and cytokines regulating cardiovascular and renal function, and a variety of other physiological processes. Imbalances in the formation of individual CYP eicosanoids are linked to the development of hypertension, myocardial infarction, maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy, acute kidney injury, stroke and inflammatory disorders. The underlying mechanisms are increasingly understood and may provide novel targets for the prevention and treatment of these disease states. Suitable pharmacological agents are under development and first proofs of concept have been obtained in animal models.