Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have well documented anti-inflammatory properties, and consequently therapeutic potential in chronic inflammatory diseases. Here we discuss the effects of n-3 PUFAs on various inflammatory pathways and how this leads to alterations in the function of inflammatory cells, most importantly endothelial cells and leukocytes.

Strong evidence indicates n-3 PUFAs are beneficial as a dietary supplement in certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis; however for other conditions such as asthma, the data are less robust. A clearer understanding of the pharmacology of n-3 PUFAs will help to establish targets to modulate chronic inflammatory diseases.