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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 1536047, 12 pages
Research Article

FFAR4 (GPR120) Signaling Is Not Required for Anti-Inflammatory and Insulin-Sensitizing Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1Laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
2The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Section of Integrative Physiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Section of Molecular Physiology, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
4National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, Bergen, Norway
5BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China

Received 1 April 2016; Revised 13 July 2016; Accepted 7 August 2016

Academic Editor: William Festuccia

Copyright © 2016 Simone Isling Pærregaard 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.


Free fatty acid receptor-4 (FFAR4), also known as GPR120, has been reported to mediate the beneficial effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFAs) by inducing an anti-inflammatory immune response. Thus, activation of FFAR4 has been reported to ameliorate chronic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance accompanying obesity. However, conflicting reports on the role of FFAR4 in mediating the effects of ω3-PUFAs are emerging, suggesting that FFAR4 may not be the sole effector. Hence analyses of the importance of this receptor in relation to other signaling pathways and prominent effects of ω3-PUFAs remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we used Ffar4 knockouts (KO) and heterozygous (HET) mice fed either low fat, low sucrose reference diet; high fat, high sucrose ω3-PUFA; or high fat, high sucrose ω6-PUFA diet for 36 weeks. We demonstrate that both KO and HET mice fed ω3-PUFAs were protected against obesity, hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation, and whole-body insulin resistance. Moreover, ω3-PUFA fed mice had increased circulating protein levels of the anti-inflammatory adipokine, adiponectin, decreased fasting insulin levels, and decreased mRNA expression of several proinflammatory molecules within visceral adipose tissue. In conclusion, we find that FFAR4 signaling is not required for the reported anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects mediated by ω3-PUFAs.