Interaction between ω6 and ω3 fatty acids of different chain lengths regulates Atlantic salmon hepatic gene expression and muscle fatty acid profiles.Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2020 08 03; 375(1804):20190648.PT
Atlantic salmon smolts (approx. 20-months old) were fed experimental diets with different combinations of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) (high-ω6, high-ω3, or balanced) and eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid (EPA + DHA) levels (0.3, 1.0 or 1.4%) for 12 weeks. Muscle FA (% total FA) reflected dietary C18-polyunsaturated FA; however, muscle EPA per cent and content (mg g-1) were not different in salmon fed high-ω3 or balanced diets. Muscle DHA per cent was similar among treatments, while DHA content increased in fish fed 1.4% EPA + DHA, compared with those fed 0.3-1.0% EPA + DHA combined with high-ω6 FA. Muscle 20:3ω6 (DGLA) content was highest in those fed high-ω6 with 0.3% EPA + DHA. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses on liver RNA showed that the monounsaturated FA synthesis-related gene, scdb, was upregulated in fish fed 1.0% EPA + DHA with high-ω6 compared to those fed 0.3% EPA + DHA. In high-ω3-fed salmon, liver elovl2 transcript levels were higher with 0.3% EPA + DHA than with 1.0% EPA + DHA. In high-ω6-fed fish, elovl2 did not vary with EPA + DHA levels, but it was positively correlated with muscle ARA, 22:4ω3 and DGLA. These results suggest dietary 18:3ω3 elongation contributed to maintaining muscle EPA + DHA levels despite a two- to threefold change in dietary proportions, while 18:2ω6 with 0.3% EPA + DHA increased muscle DGLA more than arachidonic acid (ARA). Positive correlations between hepatic elovl2 and fabp10a with muscle ω6:ω3 and EPA + DHA + ARA, respectively, were confirmed by reanalysing data from a previous salmon trial with lower variations in dietary EPA + DHA and ω6:ω3 ratios. This article is part of the theme issue 'The next horizons for lipids as 'trophic biomarkers': evidence and significance of consumer modification of dietary fatty acids'.