Dietary omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate hepatic pathology

Saraswoti Khadge, John G Sharp, Geoffrey Milton Thiele, Timothy R McGuire, Lynell Warren Klassen, Michael J. Duryee, Holly C. Britton, Alicia J. Dafferner, Jordan Beck, Paul N Black, Concetta C DiRusso, James E Talmadge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Recent evidence has suggested that dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) modulate inflammation; however, few studies have focused on the pathobiology of PUFA using isocaloric and isolipidic diets and it is unclear if the associated pathologies are due to dietary PUFA composition, lipid metabolism or obesity, as most studies compare diets fed ad libitum. Our studies used isocaloric and isolipidic liquid diets (35% of calories from fat), with differing compositions of omega (ω)-6 or long chain (Lc) ω-3 PUFA that were pair-fed and assessed hepatic pathology, inflammation and lipid metabolism. Consistent with an isocaloric, pair-fed model we observed no significant difference in diet consumption between the groups. In contrast, the body and liver weight, total lipid level and abdominal fat deposits were significantly higher in mice fed an ω-6 diet. An analysis of the fatty acid profile in plasma and liver showed that mice on the ω-6 diet had significantly more arachidonic acid (AA) in the plasma and liver, whereas, in these mice ω-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were not detected and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was significantly lower. Histopathologic analyses documented that mice on the ω-6 diet had a significant increase in macrovesicular steatosis, extramedullary myelopoiesis (EMM), apoptotic hepatocytes and decreased glycogen storage in lobular hepatocytes, and hepatocyte proliferation relative to mice fed the Lc ω-3 diet. Together, these results support PUFA dietary regulation of hepatic pathology and inflammation with implications for enteral feeding regulation of steatosis and other hepatic lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-102
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Diet
  • Fatty liver
  • Fish oil
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Omega-3
  • PUFA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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