Inflammation in response to n3 fatty acids in a porcine obesity model

Richard J. Faris, Rebecca L. Boddicker, Jennifer Walker-Daniels, Jenny Li, Douglas E. Jones, Michael E. Spurlock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Fatty acids have distinct cellular effects related to inflammation and insulin sensitivity. Dietary saturated fat activates toll-like receptor 4, which in turn can lead to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and adipose tissue macrophage infiltration. Conversely, n3 fatty acids are generally antiinflammatory and promote insulin sensitivity, in part via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ. Ossabaw swine are a useful biomedical model of obesity. We fed Ossabaw pigs either a low-fat control diet or a diet containing high-fat palm oil with or without additional n3 fatty acids for 30 wk to investigate the effect of saturated fats and n3 fatty acids on obesity-linked inflammatory markers. The diet did not influence the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein, TNFα, IL6, or IL12. In addition, n3 fatty acids attenuated the increase in inflammatory adipose tissue CD16 -CD14+ macrophages induced by high palm oil. High-fat diets with and without n3 fatty acids both induced hyperglycemia without hyperinsulinemia. The high-fat only group but not the high-fat group with n3 fatty acids showed reduced insulin sensitivity in response to insulin challenge. This effect was not mediated by decreased phosphorylation of protein kinase B. Therefore, in obese Ossabaw swine, n3 fatty acids partially attenuate insulin resistance but only marginally change inflammatory status and macrophage phenotype in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Veterinary


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