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Keywords:

  • Adiposity;
  • ApoE*3Leiden mice;
  • Early life;
  • Obesity;
  • PUFA

Scope

This study addresses whether early life arachidonic acid (ARA)/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)/DHA (Omacor) supplementation affects body weight gain, lipid metabolism, and adipose tissue quantity and quality in later life in ApoE*3Leiden-transgenic mice, a humanized model for hyperlipidemia and mild obesity.

Methods and results

Four-week-old male ApoE*3Leiden mice were fed chow diet with or without a mixture of ARA (0.129 wt%) and DHA (0.088 wt%) or Omacor (0.30 wt% EPA, 0.25 wt% DHA). At age 12 weeks, mice were fed high-fat/high-carbohydrate (HFHC) diet without above supplements until age 20 weeks. Control mice received chow diet throughout the study. Mice receiving ARA/DHA gained less body weight compared to control and this effect was sustained when fed HFHC. Omacor had no significant effect on body weight gain. Plasma cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly lowered by both supplementations. At 20 weeks, epididymal fat mass was less in ARA/DHA-supplemented mice, while Omacor had no significant effect on fat mass. Both ARA/DHA and Omacor reduced inguinal adipocyte cell size; only ARA/DHA significantly reduced epididymal macrophage infiltration.

Conclusion

This study shows that early life ARA/DHA, but not Omacor supplementation improves body weight gain later in life. ARA/DHA and to a lesser extent Omacor both improved adipose tissue quality.