DHA Regulates Abdominal Fat Genes

Byron's Comments:

This animal study suggests that DHA has a specific benefit to abdominal fat.

Study Title:

Site-specific regulation of gene expression by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in rat white adipose tissues.

Study Abstract:

Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) limit abdominal fat depot hypertrophy. This could be due to regulation of the expression of proteins involved in adipose tissue metabolism. We investigated in vivo whether fatty acid synthase (FAS), hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBP alpha), and leptin mRNA levels are affected in retroperitoneal (RP) and subcutaneous adipose tissues (SC) of rats fed n-3 PUFAs. For 4 weeks rats were fed high fat diets (20% fat) containing n-3 PUFAs given as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA group), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA group), a mixture of these two fatty acids (MIX group), or native fish oil (FO group). A control group was fed with lard plus olive oil (LOO group). Final mean fat cell weight in RP ranged according to: LOO > or = EPA > or = DHA = FO = MIX. There was no difference in fat cell size of SC when comparing the LOO and MIX groups. The fatty acid compositions of RP and SC were similar and resemble that of dietary fat within each experimental group. In RP and compared to the LOO group, FAS, HSL, PEPCK, LPL, C/EBP alpha, and leptin mRNA levels decreased although not significantly in the EPA group, and were 40-75% lower in the DHA and MIX groups. mRNA levels were positively correlated to fat cell size in RP. In contrast, n-3 PUFAs had no effect on gene expression in SC. We conclude that n-3 PUFAs and mainly 22:6n-3 affect gene expression in a site-dependent manner in white adipose tissues via possible antiadipogenic effects.

Study Information:

Raclot T, Groscolas R, Langin D, Ferré P. Site-specific regulation of gene expression by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in rat white adipose tissues. J Lipid Res.  1997 October 38(10):1963-72.
Centre d'Ecologie et Physiologie Engergétiques, CNRS associé à l'Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.

Full Study:

http://www.jlr.org/cgi/reprint/38/10/1963


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