Dietary n-3 fatty acids affect mRNA level of brown adipose tissue uncoupling protein 1, and white adipose tissue leptin and glucose transporter 4 in the rat.Br J Nutr 2000; 84(2):175-84BJ
We examined the effect of dietary fats rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on mRNA levels in white and brown adipose tissues in rats. Four groups of rats were fed on a low-fat diet (20 g safflower oil/kg) or a high-fat diet (200 g/kg) containing safflower oil, which is rich in n-6 PUFA (linoleic acid), or perilla (alpha-linolenic acid) or fish oil (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids), both of which are rich in n-3 PUFA, for 21 d. Energy intake was higher in rats fed on a high-safflower-oil diet than in those fed on low-fat or high-fish-oil diet, but no other significant differences were detected among the groups. Perirenal white adipose tissue weight was higher and epididymal white adipose tissue weight tended to be higher in rats fed on a high-safflower-oil diet than in those fed on a low-fat diet. However, high-fat diets rich in n-3 PUFA, compared to a low-fat diet, did not increase the white adipose tissue mass. High-fat diets relative to a low-fat diet increased brown adipose tissue uncoupling protein 1 mRNA level. The increases were greater with fats rich in n-3 PUFA than with n-6 PUFA. A high-safflower-oil diet, compared to a low-fat diet, doubled the leptin mRNA level in white adipose tissue. However, high-fat diets rich in n-3 PUFA failed to increase it. Compared to a low-fat diet, high-fat diets down-regulated the glucose transporter 4 mRNA level in white adipose tissue. However, the decreases were attenuated with high-fat diets rich in n-3 PUFA. It is suggested that the alterations in gene expression in adipose tissue contribute to the physiological activities of n-3 PUFA in preventing body fat accumulation and in regulating glucose metabolism in rats.