Omega-3 phospholipids from fish suppress hepatic steatosis by integrated inhibition of biosynthetic pathways in dietary obese mice

M. Rossmeisl, D. Medrikova, E.M. van Schothorst, J. Pavlisova, O. Kuda, M. Hensler, K. Bardova, P. Flachs, B. Stankova, M. Vecka, E. Tvrizicka, A. Zak, J. Keijer, J. Kopecky

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) accompanies obesity and insulin resistance. Recent meta-analysis suggested omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and EPA to decrease liver fat in NAFLD patients. Anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, and insulin-sensitizing effects of DHA/EPA depend on their lipid form, with marine phospholipids showing better efficacy than fish oils. We characterized the mechanisms underlying beneficial effects of DHA/EPA phospholipids, alone or combined with an antidiabetic drug, on hepatosteatosis. C57BL/6N mice were fed for 7 weeks an obesogenic high-fat diet (cHF) or cHF-based interventions: (i) cHF supplemented with phosphatidylcholine-rich concentrate from herring (replacing 10% of dietary lipids; PC), (ii) cHF containing rosiglitazone (10 mg/kg diet; R), or (iii) PC + R. Metabolic analyses, hepatic gene expression and lipidome profiling were performed. Results showed that PC and PC + R prevented cHF-induced weight gain and glucose intolerance, while all interventions reduced abdominal fat and plasma triacylglycerols. PC and PC + R also lowered hepatic and plasma cholesterol and reduced hepatosteatosis. Microarray analysis revealed integrated down-regulation of hepatic lipogenic and cholesterol biosynthesis pathways by PC, while R-induced lipogenesis was fully counteracted in PC + R. Gene expression changes in PC and PC + R were associated with preferential enrichment of hepatic phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine fractions by DHA/EPA. The complex down-regulation of hepatic lipogenic and cholesterol biosynthesis genes and the antisteatotic effects were unique to DHA/EPA-containing phospholipids, since they were absent in mice fed soy-derived phosphatidylcholine. Thus, inhibition of lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis associated with potent antisteatotic effects in the liver in response to DHA/EPA-containing phospholipids support their use in NAFLD prevention and treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-278
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta. Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • polyunsaturated fatty-acids
  • long-chain omega-3-fatty-acids
  • krill oil supplementation
  • adipose-tissue
  • liver-disease
  • glucose-intolerance
  • insulin sensitivity
  • hepatobiliary axis
  • soybean lecithin
  • lipid-metabolism


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