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Mice fed fish oil diet and upregulation of brown adipose tissue thermogenic markers



Fish oil (FO) elicits diverse beneficial effects. Reduction in or prevention of body mass (BM) gain in animal models may be associated with modulation of brown adipose tissue (BAT). We aimed to evaluate the effects of different high-fat diets with FO on BAT metabolism and thermogenic markers.


C57BL/6 male mice (3-month-old) were fed different diets during 8 weeks: standard-chow diet (SC 10 % fat), high-fat lard diet (HF-L 50 % fat), high-fat lard plus FO diet (HF-L+FO 50 % fat), and high-fat FO diet (HF-FO 50 % fat). We evaluated BM and performed an oral glucose tolerance test. At euthanasia, plasma was collected for leptin, and triacylglycerol measurement and interscapular BAT was dissected and stored for molecular analyses.


HF-L group showed elevated BM; glucose intolerance associated with diminished TC10 and GLUT4 expressions; hypertriglyceridemia associated with increased CD36 and diminished CPT1 expression; elevated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines; and reduced PPAR expression. Furthermore, these animals showed hyperleptinemia with increased expression of thermogenic markers (beta3-AR, PGC1alpha, and UCP1). Conversely, HF-L+FO and HF-FO groups showed reduced BM gain with regularization of glucose tolerance and triglyceridemia, GLUT4, TC10, CD36, CPT1, and cytokines expressions. Both groups exhibited elevated PPAR and thermogenic markers expression in a dose-dependent way.


FO improves metabolic profile and upregulates thermogenic markers, suggesting an elevated thermogenesis that leads to reduced BM gain.

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The authors would like to thank Mrs. Thatiany Marinho, Mrs. Aline Penna, Mrs. Gezileia Lau, and Mrs. Michele Soares for their technical assistance. This study was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Brazil.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Carlos Alberto Mandarim-de-Lacerda.

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Bargut, T.C.L., Silva-e-Silva, A.C.A.G., Souza-Mello, V. et al. Mice fed fish oil diet and upregulation of brown adipose tissue thermogenic markers . Eur J Nutr 55, 159–169 (2016).

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  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fish oil
  • Thermogenesis
  • Brown adipose tissue
  • Uncoupling protein 1