Background: Omega (n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are converted to bioactive lipid components that are important mediators in metabolic and physiological pathways; however, which bioactive compounds are metabolically active, and their mechanisms of action are still not clear. We investigated using lipidomic techniques, the effects of diets high in n-3 PUFA on the fatty acid composition of various bioactive lipids in plasma and liver. Methodology and Principal Findings: Female C57BL/6 mice were fed semi-purified diets (20% w/w fat) containing varying amounts of n-3 PUFA before mating, during gestation and lactation, and until weaning. Male offspring were continued on their mothers' diets for 16 weeks. Hepatic and plasma lipids were extracted in the presence of non-naturally occurring internal standards, and tandem electrospray ionization mass spectrometry methods were used to measure the fatty acyl compositions. There was no significant difference in total concentrations of phospholipids in both groups. However, there was a significantly higher concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid containing phosphatidylcholine (PC), lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), and cholesteryl esters (CE) (p < 0.01) in the high n-3 PUFA group compared to the low n-3 PUFA group in both liver and plasma. Plasma and liver from the high n-3 PUFA group also had a higher concentration of free n-3 PUFA (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in plasma concentrations of different fatty acyl species of phosphatidylethanolamine, triglycerides, sphingomyelin and ceramides. Conclusions/Significance: Our findings reveal for the first time that a diet high in n-3 PUFA caused enrichment of n-3 PUFA in PC, LPC, CE and free fatty acids in the plasma and liver of C57BL/6 mice. PC, LPC, and unesterified free n-3 PUFA are important bioactive lipids, thus altering their fatty acyl composition will have important metabolic and physiological roles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)