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Dietary PUFA drives diverse systems-level changes in lipid metabolism

Dietary PUFA drives diverse systems-level changes in lipid metabolism

Furse, Samuel, Virtue, Samuel, Sowden, Stuart G., Vidal-Puig, Antonio, Stevenson, Philip C. ORCID: 0000-0002-0736-3619, Chiarugi, Davide and Koulman, Albert (2022) Dietary PUFA drives diverse systems-level changes in lipid metabolism. Molecular Metabolism, 59:101457. ISSN 2212-8778 (Online) (doi:

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Poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplements have been trialled as a treatment for a number of conditions, and produced a variety of results. This variety is ascribed to both the supplements, often comprising mixtures of fatty acids and to different effects in different organs. Here, we tested the hypothesis that supplementation of individual PUFAs has diverse system-level effects that are dependent on the molecular structure of the PUFA.

We undertook a network analysis using Lipid Traffic Analysis to identify both local and systems-level changes in lipid metabolism using publicly available lipidomics data from a mouse model of supplementation with FA(20:4n-6), FA(20:5n-3) and FA(22:6n-3) ; arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, respectively. Lipid Traffic Analysis is a new bioinformatics tool that uses the spatial distribution of lipids to pinpoint changes or differences in control of metabolism, thereby suggesting mechanistic reasons for differences in observed lipid metabolism.

There was strong evidence for changes to lipid metabolism being dependent on the structure of the supplemented PUFA. Phosphatidylcholine and triglycerides showed a change in the variety more than the number of variables, whereas phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylinositol showed considerable change in both which variables and the number of them, in a highly PUFA-dependent manner. There was also evidence for changes to endogenous biosynthesis of fatty acids and to both elongation and desaturation of fatty acids.

These results show that the full biological impact of PUFA supplementation is far wider than any single-organ effect and implies that supplementation and dosing with PUFAs requires a system-level assessment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lipid traffic analysis, lipid metabolism, metabolic disesae, PUFA supplementation
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Design, Manufacturing and Innovative Products Research Theme
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 08:28

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