Compounds Found in Green-lipped Mussels May Be Significant Anti-inflammatory Agents

by Treschow AP
(Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Aug;147(4):645-56. Epub 2007 Apr 14.)

Novel anti-inflammatory omega-3 PUFAs from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus.
The present study has identified in the marine mollusc, Perna canaliculus, an homologous series of novel omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA) with significant anti-inflammatory (AI) activity.

The free fatty acid (FFA) class was isolated from a supercritical-CO2 lipid extract of the tartaric acid-stabilised freeze-dried mussel powder by normal phase chromatography, followed by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC).

The RP-HPLC involved separation based on carbon numbers, followed by argentation-HPLC (Ag-HPLC) of the methyl esters based on degree of unsaturation. Identification of the FFA components was performed using gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionisation detection, and individual structures were assigned by GC-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS).

Inhibition of leukotriene production by stimulated human neutrophils was used as an in vitro screening method to test the AI activity of the purified PUFAs.

A structurally related family of omega-3 PUFAs was identified in the most bioactive fractions, which included C18:4, C19:4, C20:4, and C21:5 PUFA. The C20:4 was the predominant PUFA in the extract, and was a structural isomer of arachidonic acid (AA).

The novel compounds may be biologically significant as AI agents, as a result of their in vitro inhibition of lipoxygenase products of the AA pathway.

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