Krill oil treatment increases distinct pufas and oxylipins in adipose tissue and liver and attenuates obesity-associated inflammation via direct and indirect mechanisms

Eveline Gart*, Kanita Salic, Martine C. Morrison, Martien Caspers, Wim van Duyvenvoorde, Marieke Heijnk, Martin Giera, Ivana Bobeldijk-Pastorova, Jaap Keijer, Andreas B. Storsve, Petter Arnt Hals, Robert Kleemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The development of obesity is characterized by the metabolic overload of tissues and sub-sequent organ inflammation. The health effects of krill oil (KrO) on obesity-associated inflammation remain largely elusive, because long-term treatments with KrO have not been performed to date. Therefore, we examined the putative health effects of 28 weeks of 3% (w/w) KrO supplementation to an obesogenic diet (HFD) with fat derived mostly from lard. The HFD with KrO was compared to an HFD control group to evaluate the effects on fatty acid composition and associated inflammation in epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) and the liver during obesity development. KrO treatment increased the concentrations of EPA and DHA and associated oxylipins, including 18-HEPE, RvE2 and 14-HDHA in eWAT and the liver. Simultaneously, KrO decreased arachidonic acid concentrations and arachidonic-acid-derived oxylipins (e.g., HETEs, PGD2, PGE2, PGF2 α, TXB2 ). In eWAT, KrO activated regulators of adipogenesis (e.g., PPARγ, CEBPα, KLF15, STAT5A), induced a shift towards smaller adipocytes and increased the total adipocyte numbers indicative for hyperplasia. KrO reduced crown-like structures in eWAT, and suppressed HFD-stimulated inflammatory pathways including TNFα and CCL2/MCP-1 signaling. The observed eWAT changes were accompanied by reduced plasma leptin and increased plasma adiponectin levels over time, and improved insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). In the liver, KrO suppressed inflammatory signaling pathways, including those controlled by IL-1β and M-CSF, without affecting liver histology. Furthermore, KrO deacti-vated hepatic REL-A/p65-NF-κB signaling, consistent with increased PPARα protein expression and a trend towards an increase in IkBα. In conclusion, long-term KrO treatment increased several anti-inflammatory PUFAs and oxylipins in WAT and the liver. These changes were accompanied by beneficial effects on general metabolism and inflammatory tone at the tissue level. The stimulation of adipogenesis by KrO allows for safe fat storage and may, together with more direct PPAR-mediated anti-inflammatory mechanisms, attenuate inflammation

Original languageEnglish
Article number2836
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021


  • Adipogenesis
  • Inflammation
  • Krill oil
  • Obesity
  • Oxylipins
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)


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