Increased triacylglycerol - Fatty acid substrate cycling in human skeletal muscle cells exposed to eicosapentaenoic acid.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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It has previously been shown that pretreatment of differentiated human skeletal muscle cells (myotubes) with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) promoted increased uptake of fatty acids and increased triacylglycerol accumulation, compared to pretreatment with oleic acid (OA) and palmitic acid (PA). The aim of the present study was to examine whether EPA could affect substrate cycling in human skeletal muscle cells by altering lipolysis rate of intracellular TAG and re-esterification of fatty acids. Fatty acid metabolism was studied in human myotubes using a mixture of fatty acids, consisting of radiolabelled oleic acid as tracer (14C-OA) together with EPA or PA. Co-incubation of myotubes with EPA increased cell-accumulation and incomplete fatty acid oxidation of 14C-OA compared to co-incubation with PA. Lipid distribution showed higher incorporation of 14C-OA into all cellular lipids after co-incubation with EPA relative to PA, with most markedly increases (3 to 4-fold) for diacylglycerol and triacylglycerol. Further, the increases in cellular lipids after co-incubation with EPA were accompanied by higher lipolysis and fatty acid re-esterification rate. Correspondingly, basal respiration, proton leak and maximal respiration were significantly increased in cells exposed to EPA compared to PA. Microarray and Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis showed that EPA, related to PA, significantly changed i.e. the GO terms “Neutral lipid metabolic process” and “Regulation of lipid storage”. Finally, an inhibitor of diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 decreased the effect of EPA to promote fatty acid accumulation. In conclusion, incubation of human myotubes with EPA, compared to PA, increased processes of fatty acid turnover and oxidation suggesting that EPA may activate futile substrate cycling of fatty acids in human myotubes. Increased TAG—FA cycling may be involved in the potentially favourable effects of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids on skeletal muscle and whole-body energy metabolism.