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Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2014 Jul 16;5:115. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2014.00115. eCollection 2014.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and FFAR4.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego , La Jolla, CA , USA.


The beneficial roles of omega-3 fatty acids (ω3-FAs) on obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic diseases are well known. Most of these effects can be explained by their anti-inflammatory effects triggered through their receptor, free fatty acid receptor 4 (FFAR4) activation. Although the whole mechanism of action is not fully described yet, it has been shown that stimulation of ω3-FA to FFAR4 is followed by receptor phosphorylation. This makes FFAR4 to be capable of interacting with β-arrestin-2, which in turn, results in association of β-arrestin-2 with TAB1. This stealing of an important partaker of the inflammatory cascade leads to interruption of the pathway, resulting in reduced inflammation. Besides this regulation of the anti-inflammatory response, FFAR4 signaling also has been shown to regulate glucose homeostasis, adiposity, gastrointestinal peptide secretion, and taste preference. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the interaction of ω3-FAs with FFAR4 and the consequent opportunities for the application of ω3-FAs and possible FFAR4 targets.


FFAR4; anti-inflammation; insulin resistance; obesity; omega-3 fatty acids

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