Postnatal essential fatty acid deficiency in mice affects lipoproteins, hepatic lipids, fatty acids and mRNA expression
Journal article, 2011
We have previously reported that essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD) during suckling in mice resulted in an adult lean phenotype and a resistance to diet-induced obesity. We now hypothesized that postnatal EFAD would cause long-term effects on lipid metabolism. C57BL/6 mice were fed an EFAD or a control diet from the 16th day of gestation and throughout lactation. The pups were weaned to standard diet (STD) and at 15 weeks of age given either high fat diet (HFD) or STD. Lipoprotein profiles, hepatic lipids, fatty acids and mRNA expression were analyzed in 3-week-old and 25-week-old offspring. At weaning, the EFAD pups had higher cholesterol levels in both plasma and liver and 6-fold higher concentrations of hepatic cholesterol esters than control pups. Adult EFAD offspring had higher levels of hepatic cholesterol and linoleic acid, but lower levels of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid and Pparg mRNA expression in the liver. In addition, HFD fed EFAD offspring had lower plasma total cholesterol, lower hepatic triglycerides and lower liver weight compared to controls fed HFD. In conclusion, early postnatal EFAD resulted in short-term alterations with increased hepatic cholesterol accumulation and long-term protection against diet-induced liver steatosis and hypercholesterolemia.