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Open Access Original investigation

Reduction of n-3 PUFAs, specifically DHA and EPA, and enhancement of peroxisomal beta-oxidation in type 2 diabetic rat heart

Lianguo Hou1, Kaoqi Lian2, Min Yao1, Yun Shi1, Xin Lu1, Lijia Fang1, Tianbo He1 and Lingling Jiang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Key Laboratory of Neurobiology and Vascular Biology, China Administration of Education, Hebei Medical University, No. 361 Zhongshan East Road, Shijiazhuang, 050017, China

2 School of Public Health, Hebei Medical University, No. 361 Zhongshan East Road, Shijiazhuang, 050017, China

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2012, 11:126  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-126

Published: 11 October 2012

Abstract

Background

There is overwhelming evidence that dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), mainly EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), has cardiovascular protective effects on patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) but not on healthy people. Because the T2DM heart increases fatty acid oxidation (FAO) to compensate for the diminished utilization of glucose, we hypothesize that T2DM hearts consume more n-3 PUFAs and, therefore, need more n-3 PUFAs. In the present study, we investigated the changes in cardiac n-3 PUFAs and peroxisomal beta-oxidation, which are responsible for the degradation of PUFAs in a high-fat diet (HFD) and low-dose streptozotocin- (STZ) induced type 2 diabetic rat model.

Methods and results

The capillary gas chromatography results showed that all the n-3 (or omega-3) PUFAs, especially DHA (~50%) and EPA (~100%), were significantly decreased, and the n-6/n-3 ratio (~115%) was significantly increased in the hearts of diabetic rats. The activity of peroxisomal beta-oxidation, which is crucial to very-long-chain and unsaturated FA metabolism (including DHA), was significantly elevated in DM hearts. Additionally, the real-time PCR results showed that the mRNA expression of most peroxisomal beta-oxidation key enzymes were up-regulated in T2DM rat hearts, which might contribute to the reduction of n-3 (or omega-3) PUFAs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our results indicate that T2DM hearts consume more n-3 PUFAs, especially DHA and EPA, due to exaggerated peroxisomal beta-oxidation.

Keywords:
n-3 PUFA; EPA; DHA; T2DM; FAO; Peroxisomal β-oxidation