Omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) are associated with several physiological functions, suggesting that their administration may prevent non transmissible chronic diseases. Therefore, we investigate whether dietary n-3 LCPUFA supplementation triggers an antioxidant response preventing liver steatosis in mice fed a high fat diet (HFD) in relation to n-3 LCPUFA levels. Male C57BL/6J mice received (a) control diet (10% fat, 20% protein, 70% carbohydrate), (b) control diet plus n-3 LCPUFA (108 mg/kg/day eicosapentaenoic acid plus 92 mg/kg/day docosahexaenoic acid), (c) HFD (60% fat, 20% protein, 20% carbohydrate), or (d) HFD plus n-3 LCPUFA for 12 weeks. Parameters of liver steatosis, glutathione status, protein carbonylation, and fatty acid analysis were determined, concomitantly with insulin resistance and serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 levels. HFD significantly increased total fat and triacylglyceride contents with macrovesicular steatosis, concomitantly with higher fasting serum glucose and insulin levels, HOMA, and serum TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Reduced and total liver glutathione contents were diminished by HFD, with higher GSSG/GSH ratio and protein carbonylation, n-3 LCPUFA depletion and elevated n-6/n-3 ratio over control values. These changes were either reduced or normalized to control values in animals subjected to HFD and n-3 LCPUFA, with significant increased hepatic total n-3 LCPUFA content and reduced n-6/n-3 ratio being observed after n-3 LCPUFA supplementation alone. So, repletion of liver n-3 LCPUFA levels by n-3 LCPUFA dietary supplementation in HFD obese mice reduces hepatic lipid content, with concomitant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses favouring insulin sensitivity.
Valenzuela, R., Espinosa, A., González-Mañán, D., D’Espessailles, A., Fernández, V., Videla, L. A., & Tapia, G. (2012). N-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation Significantly Reduces Liver Oxidative Stress in High Fat Induced Steatosis. PLoS ONE, 7(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046400