Effects of the dietary ω3:ω6 fatty acid ratio on body fat and inflammation in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Academic Article


  • The diets of populations in industrialized nations have shifted to dramatically increased consumption of ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), with a corresponding decrease in the consumption of ω3 PUFA. This dietary shift may be related to observed increases in obesity, chronic inflammation, and comorbidities in the human population. We examined the effects of ω3:ω6 fatty acid ratios in the context of constant total dietary lipid on the growth, total body fat, and responses of key inflammatory markers in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zebrafish were fed diets in which the ω3:ω6 PUFA ratios were representative of those in a purported ancestral diet (1:2) and more contemporary Western diets (1:5 and 1:8). After 5 mo, weight gain (fat free mass) of zebrafish was highest for those that received the 1:8 ratio treatment, but total body fat was lowest at this ratio. Measured by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, mRNA levels from liver samples of 3 chronic inflammatory response genes (C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, and vitellogenin) were lowest at the 1:8 ratio. These data provide evidence of the ability to alter zebrafish growth and body composition through the quality of dietary lipid and support the application of this model to investigations of human health and disease related to fat metabolism.
  • Author List

  • Powell ML; Pegues MA; Szalai AJ; Ghanta VK; D'Abramo LR; Watts SA
  • Start Page

  • 289
  • End Page

  • 294
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 4