Eicosapentaenoic acid improves metabolic switching in human myotubes

  • Nina P. Hessvik (Creator)
  • Siril S. Bakke (Creator)
  • Katarina Fredriksson (Creator)
  • Mark Boekschoten (Creator)
  • Anne Fjorkenstad (Creator)
  • Gerbrand Koster (Creator)
  • Matthijs K. Hesselink (Creator)
  • Sander Kersten (Creator)
  • Eili T. Kase (Creator)
  • Arild C. Rustan (Creator)
  • Hege Thoresen (Creator)



Metabolically healthy skeletal muscle is characterized by the ability to switch easily between glucose and fat oxidation, whereas loss of this ability seems to be related to insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate whether different fatty acids (FAs) and the LXR ligand T0901317 affected metabolic switching in human skeletal muscle cells (myotubes). Pretreatment of myotubes with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) increased suppressibility, the ability of glucose to suppress FA oxidation, and metabolic flexibility, the ability to increase FA oxidation when changing from “fed” to “fasted” state. Adaptability, the capacity to increase FA oxidation with increasing FA availability, was increased after pretreatment with EPA, linoleic acid (LA) and palmitic acid (PA). T0901317 counteracted the effect of EPA on suppressibility and adaptability, but did not affect these parameters alone. EPA itself accumulated less, however, EPA, LA, OA and T0901317 increased the number of lipid droplets (LDs) in myotubes, whereas LD size and mitochondria amount were independent of pretreatment. Microarray analysis showed that EPA regulated more genes than the other FAs. Some pathways involved in carbohydrate metabolism were induced only by EPA. The present study suggests a possible favorable effect of EPA on skeletal muscle metabolic switching and glucose utilization.
Date made available23 Jun 2010
PublisherWageningen University


  • Homo sapiens

Accession numbers

  • GSE18589
  • PRJNA120303

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