Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2009, Article ID 867041, 7 pages
Research Article

The Decrease of n-3 Fatty Acid Energy Percentage in an Equicaloric Diet Fed to B6C3Fe Mice for Three Generations Elicits Obesity

1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine University of Illinois at Chicago, 1601 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-9410, USA

Received 8 May 2009; Revised 16 June 2009; Accepted 30 June 2009

Academic Editor: Pietro Giusti

Copyright © 2009 Ingeborg Hanbauer 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.


Feeding mice, over 3 generations, an equicaloric diet in which -linolenic acid, the dietary precursor of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, was substituted by linoleic acid, the dietary precursor of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, significantly increased body weight throughout life when compared with standard diet-fed mice. Adipogenesis observed in the low n-3 fatty acid mice was accompanied by a 6-fold upregulation of stearyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 (Scd1), whose activity is correlated to plasma triglyceride levels. In total liver lipid and phospholipid extracts, the sum of n-3 fatty acids and the individual longer carbon chain acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n3), docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n3), and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n3) were significantly decreased whereas arachidonic acid (20:4n6) was significantly increased. In addition, low n-3 fatty acid-fed mice had liver steatosis, heart, and kidney hypertrophy. Hence, reducing dietary -linolenic acid, from 1.02 energy% to 0.16 energy% combined with raising linoleic acid intake resulted in obesity and had detrimental consequences on organ function.