Arachidonic acid has a dominant effect to regulate lipogenic genes in 3T3-L1 adipocytes compared to omega-3 fatty acids

  • Hitesh Vaidya Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, A1B3X9, Canada
  • Sukhinder Kaur Cheema Memorial University


Background: The effects of long-chain n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on the regulation of adipocytes metabolism are well known. These fatty acids are generally consumed together in our diets; however, the metabolic regulation of adipocytes in the presence of these fatty acids when given together is not known.

Objective: To investigate the effects of n-3 PUFA and arachidonic acid (AA), an n-6 PUFA, on the regulation of adipogenic and lipogenic genes in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

Methods: 3T3-L1 adipocytes were incubated in the presence or absence of 100 µM of eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA; docosahexaenoic acid, DHA; docosapentaenoic acid, DPA and AA, either alone or AA+n-3 PUFA; control cells received bovine serum albumin alone. The mRNA expression of adipogenic and lipogenic genes was measured. The fatty acid composition of adipocytes was analyzed using gas chromatography.

Results: Individual n-3 PUFA or AA had no effect on the mRNA expression of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-γ; however, AA+EPA and AA+DPA significantly increased (P<0.05) the expression compared to control cells (38 and 42%, respectively). AA and AA+EPA increased the mRNA expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (P<0.05). AA treatment decreased the mRNA expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD1) (P<0.01), while n-3 PUFA, except EPA, had no effect compared to control cells. AA+DHA and AA+DPA inhibited SCD1 gene expression (P<0.05) suggesting a dominant effect of AA. Fatty acids analysis of adipocytes revealed a higher accretion of AA compared to n-3 PUFA.

Conclusions: Our findings reveal that AA has a dominant effect on the regulation of lipogenic genes in adipocytes.

Keywords: adipocytes; arachidonic acid; lipogenesis; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

(Published: 20 March 2015)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2015, 59: 25866 -


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Author Biography

Sukhinder Kaur Cheema, Memorial University



How to Cite
Vaidya H., & Cheema S. K. (2015). Arachidonic acid has a dominant effect to regulate lipogenic genes in 3T3-L1 adipocytes compared to omega-3 fatty acids. Food & Nutrition Research, 59.
Original Articles