BACKGROUND Fish oil (FO) is rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which have been suggested to be anti-inflammatory and are associated with improvement of several inflammatory diseases. In this study, we investigated the influence of FO on allergen-induced lung inflammation and airway hyperreactivity in mice. METHODS Male A/J mice were fed either a standard-chow (SC) or a FO diet (FO) for 8 weeks. After 4 weeks, each group was further randomized for ovalbumin (SC-OVA and FO-OVA) or saline (SC-SAL and FO-SAL) challenge. Resistance and elastance were measured at baseline and after aerosolized methacholine, 24h after the last challenge. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed for leukocyte counts. Lung tissue mucus deposition, peribronchiolar matrix deposition and eosinophil infiltration were quantified. Serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgG1 (ref 2.2), lung IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17, INFγ and eotaxin-1 and 2 were detected by ELISA and nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), GATA-3 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) expression was measured by Western blot. RESULTS Levels of serum IgE and IgG1 were significantly higher in OVA sensitized mice. OVA challenge resulted in increased eosinophil infiltration, increased inflammatory cytokine production, peribronchiolar matrix and mucus deposition and airway hyperreactivity to aerosolized methacholine. Elevated lung NFκB and GATA-3 expression was noted in OVA-challenged mice. These changes were attenuated in mice fed with FO diet. Higher PPARγ expression was also detected in the lungs from the FO-fed groups. CONCLUSION Our results demonstrate that FO intake attenuated classical asthma features by suppressing the systemic sensitization, thus providing evidence that FO might be a prophylactic alternative for asthma prevention.