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Suppressive actions of eicosapentaenoic acid on lipid droplet formation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-06-04, 00:00 authored by Elizabeth Manickam, Andrew SinclairAndrew Sinclair, David Cameron-Smith
Background : Lipid droplet (LD) formation and size regulation reflects both lipid influx and efflux, and is central in the regulation of adipocyte metabolism, including adipokine secretion. The length and degree of dietary fatty acid (FA) unsaturation is implicated in LD formation and regulation in adipocytes. The aims of this study were to establish the impact of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; C20:5n-3) in comparison to SFA (STA; stearic acid, C18:0) and MUFA (OLA; oleic acid, C18:1n-9) on 3T3-L1 adipocyte LD formation, regulation of genes central to LD function and adipokine responsiveness. Cells were supplemented with 100 μM FA during 7-day differentiation.

Results : EPA markedly reduced LD size and total lipid accumulation, suppressing PPARγ, Cidea and D9D/SCD1 genes, distinct from other treatments. These changes were independent of alterations of lipolytic genes, as both EPA and STA similarly elevated LPL and HSL gene expressions. In response to acute lipopolysaccharide exposure, EPA-differentiated adipocytes had distinct improvement in inflammatory response shown by reduction in monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and interleukin-6 and elevation in adiponectin and leptin gene expressions.

Conclusions : This study demonstrates that EPA differentially modulates adipogenesis and lipid accumulation to suppress LD formation and size. This may be due to suppressed gene expression of key proteins closely associated with LD function. Further analysis is required to determine if EPA exerts a similar influence on LD formation and regulation in-vivo.



Lipids in health and disease




1 - 8


BioMed Central


London, England






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C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2010, Manickam et al.