The objective of this study was to determine the effects of enrichment with n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Enrichment with DHA but not EPA significantly increased the differentiation markers compared to control differentiated cells. DHA compared to EPA treatment led to a greater increase in adiponectin secretion and, conditioned media collected from DHA treated cells inhibited monocyte migration. Moreover, DHA treatment resulted in inhibition of pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. DHA treated cells predominantly accumulated DHA in phospholipids whereas EPA treatment led to accumulation of both EPA and its elongation product docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), an n-3 fatty acid. Of note, adding DPA to DHA inhibited DHA-induced differentiation. The differential effects of EPA and DHA on preadipocyte differentiation may be due, in part, to differences in their intracellular modification which could impact the type of n-3 fatty acids incorporated into the cells.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.