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Logo of bmcgenoBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Genomics
BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 110.
Published online Mar 16, 2009. doi:  10.1186/1471-2164-10-110
PMCID: PMC2662879
Induction of lipid oxidation by polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin in small intestine of mice fed a high-fat diet
Evert M van Schothorst,corresponding author1 Pavel Flachs,2 Nicole LW Franssen-van Hal,1 Ondrej Kuda,2 Annelies Bunschoten,1 Jos Molthoff,1 Carolien Vink,1 Guido JEJ Hooiveld,3 Jan Kopecky,2 and Jaap Keijer1,3,4
1Food Bioactives group, RIKILT – Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen UR, PO Box 230, 6700 AE Wageningen, the Netherlands
2Department of Adipose Tissue Biology, Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
3Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group, Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands
4Human and Animal Physiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Evert M van Schothorst: evert.vanschothorst/at/; Pavel Flachs: flachs/at/; Nicole LW Franssen-van Hal: N.Franssen/at/; Ondrej Kuda: kuda/at/; Annelies Bunschoten: annelies.bunschoten/at/; Jos Molthoff: jos.molthoff/at/; Carolien Vink: Carolien.Vink/at/; Guido JEJ Hooiveld: guido.hooiveld/at/; Jan Kopecky: kopecky/at/; Jaap Keijer: jaap.keijer/at/
Received December 18, 2008; Accepted March 16, 2009.
Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), in particular the long chain marine fatty acids docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA), are linked to many health benefits in humans and in animal models. Little is known of the molecular response to DHA and EPA of the small intestine, and the potential contribution of this organ to the beneficial effects of these fatty acids. Here, we assessed gene expression changes induced by DHA and EPA in the wildtype C57BL/6J murine small intestine using whole genome microarrays and functionally characterized the most prominent biological process.
The main biological process affected based on gene expression analysis was lipid metabolism. Fatty acid uptake, peroxisomal and mitochondrial beta-oxidation, and omega-oxidation of fatty acids were all increased. Quantitative real time PCR, and -in a second animal experiment- intestinal fatty acid oxidation measurements confirmed significant gene expression differences and showed in a dose-dependent manner significant changes at biological functional level. Furthermore, no major changes in the expression of lipid metabolism genes were observed in the colon.
We show that marine n-3 fatty acids regulate small intestinal gene expression and increase fatty acid oxidation. Since this organ contributes significantly to whole organism energy use, this effect on the small intestine may well contribute to the beneficial physiological effects of marine PUFAs under conditions that will normally lead to development of obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes.
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