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Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2010 Jan;62(1):17-25. doi: 10.1016/j.etp.2008.12.008. Epub 2009 Jan 30.

Adipose tissue, liver and pancreas structural alterations in C57BL/6 mice fed high-fat-high-sucrose diet supplemented with fish oil (n-3 fatty acid rich oil).

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Laboratório de Morfometria e Morfologia Cardiovascular, Centro Biomédico, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Av. 28 de Setembro 87 (fds) 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


Fish oil treatment was used in reversing the morphological and metabolic changes of C57BL/6 mice fed high-fat-high-sucrose (HFHS) diet. Two-month-old male C57BL/6 mice were fed HFHS chow or standard chow (SC). At 3 months of age, HFHS mice were separated into an untreated group (HFHS) and a group treated with fish oil (HFHS-Fo, 1.5g/kg/day). At 4 months of age, HFHS fed mice had an increase in body mass (BM) and total body fat, when the animals were sacrificed. Both parameters were lower in HFHS-Fo than in HFHS mice. Plasma glucose and insulin levels were not affected among the groups, but HFHS and HFHS-Fo animals had higher homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance HOMA-IR ratio. HFHS and HFHS-FO mice had increased plasma total cholesterol and LDL-C, HFHS-Fo increased plasma HDL-C and decreased triglycerides levels. The liver mass (LM) and the adipocytes' size were larger in HFHS mice, while HFHS-Fo mice had a lower LM and smaller adipocytes. The liver steatosis and hepatocyte binucleation were increased in HFHS mice, while HFHS-Fo mice had reduced liver steatosis and hepatocyte binucleation. HFHS-Fo mice had a lower pancreas mass, while HFHS animals had higher islet pancreatic diameter. The SC group showed strong expression for insulin, glucagon and a glucose transporter type 2 GLUT-2 in all pancreatic islets, while in HFHS mice there was less expression for GLUT-2. However, HFHS-Fo mice showed an increase of GLUT-2 expression. In conclusion, dietary fish oil treatment reduces body mass and fat pad adiposity, and also by reducing plasma TG and pancreatic islet hypertrophy in mice fed high-fat-high-sucrose diet. Furthermore, fish oil improves glucagon and GLUT-2 expressions when it is decreased in insulin, but in hepatocyte binucleation and hepatic steatosis where the effect is reduced.

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