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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2503847, 11 pages
Research Article

Fish Oil Feeding Modulates the Expression of Hepatic MicroRNAs in a Western-Style Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Rat Model

1School of Biology and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan, Hubei 430023, China
2School of Medicine, Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430000, China
3Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhiguo Liu

Received 18 March 2017; Revised 2 May 2017; Accepted 14 May 2017; Published 12 June 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Dondero

Copyright © 2017 Hualin Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases worldwide. Recent studies have indicated that fish oil supplementation has benefits against NAFLD. Our previous transcriptomic study has validated the effect of fish oil supplementation on altering hepatic gene expression in a NAFLD rat model. In the current study, we examined the effects of fish oil on the expression of hepatic microRNAs. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed with a lab chow (CON), high-fat high-cholesterol diet (WD), or WD supplemented with fish oil (FOH), respectively. Small RNAs were extracted from livers for RNA-sequencing. A total of 79 miRNAs were identified as differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) between FOH and WD groups, exemplified by rno-miR-29c-3p, rno-miR-30d-5p, rno-miR-33-5p, rno-miR-34a, and rno-miR-328a-3p. Functional annotation of DEMs predicted target genes suggested that the altered hepatic miRNAs contributed to fish oil modification of hepatic lipid metabolism and signaling transduction. Integrative analysis of DEMs and differentially expressed genes suggested that the expression difference of Pcsk9, Insig2, Per3, and Socs1/3 between FOH and WD groups may be due to miRNA modification. Our study reveals that fish oil supplementation alters hepatic expression of miRNAs, which may contribute to fish oil amelioration of NAFLD in rats.