n-6 Fatty acids and adipogenesis

  • Gérard Ailhaud


There is evidence from animal and human studies that changes in the balance of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter the early stages of adipose tissue development. Consistent with these observations, cellularity of human adipose tissue from obese patients depends on the age of obesity onset. Under isoenergetic conditions, pups from wild-type mice mothers fed a linoleic acid (LA) diet were 40% heavier 1 week after weaning than those from mothers fed a LA/?-linolenic acid (LNA) diet, and the weight difference was maintained at the adult age. The LA-induced enhancement of fat mass was abolished in mice invalidated for the cell-surface prostacyclin receptor (ip-1- mice), demonstrating the critical role of arachidonic acid and the prostacyclin receptor in excessive adipose tissue development. Changes observed over recent decades in the fatty acid composition of dietary fats observed in breast milk and formula milk, i.e. an increase in LAwith slight or no ch ange in LNA content, in concert with a positive energy balance, may be responsible at least in part for the dramatic rise in the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity. Since prevention of obesity appears critical to avoid difficult if not insurmountable health problems in the future, the composition of dietary lipids should be reconsidered from the very beginning of the food chain. Keywords: adipose tissue; arachidonic acid; development; food; linoleic acid; milk


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How to Cite
Ailhaud, G. (2006). n-6 Fatty acids and adipogenesis. Food & Nutrition Research, 17-20. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v50i0.1571