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Keywords:

  • High-fat diet;
  • Liver steatosis;
  • n-3 long-chain PUFA;
  • Nuclear factor κB;
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha

Scope

Dietary n-3 long-chain PUFAs (n-3 LCPUFAs) supplementation was studied in an HFD-induced (HFD is high-fat diet) steatosis and inflammation in relation to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-α) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling.

Methods and results

Male C57BL/6J mice received (i) control diet (10% fat, 20% protein, 70% carbohydrate), (ii) control diet plus n-3 LCPUFAs (daily doses of 108 mg/kg body weight of eicosapentaenoic acid plus 92 mg/kg body weight of docosahexaenoic acid), (iii) HFD (60% fat, 20% protein, 20% carbohydrate), or (iv) HFD plus n-3 LCPUFAs for 12 wk. PPAR-α, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and IL-1β mRNA expression, acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX1), and carnitine-acyl-CoA transferase 1 (CAT-I) protein contents, and NF-κB DNA binding activity were measured. HFD significantly decreased liver PPAR-α, ACOX1, and CAT-I levels with NF-κB activation, higher TNF-α and IL-1β expression, and steatosis development. These changes were either reduced or normalized to control values in animals subjected to HFD plus n-3 LCPUFAs, with establishment of an inverse association between NF-κB activation and PPAR-α mRNA expression (r = −0.66, p < 0.0001).

Conclusion

Data presented indicate that n-3 LCPUFAs supplementation prevents liver steatosis and inflammation induced by HFD, with underlying mechanisms involving enhanced PPAR-α signaling and diminished NF-κB activation.