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Effect of α-linolenic acid and DHA intake on lipogenesis and gene expression involved in fatty acid metabolism in growing-finishing pigs

  • A. De Tonnac (a1) (a2), E. Labussière (a1) (a2), A. Vincent (a1) (a2) and J. Mourot (a1) (a2)


The regulation of lipogenesis mechanisms related to consumption of n-3 PUFA is poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to find out whether α-linolenic acid (ALA) or DHA uptake can have an effect on activities and gene expressions of enzymes involved in lipid metabolism in the liver, subcutaneous adipose tissue and longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of growing–finishing pigs. Six groups of ten pigs received one of six experimental diets supplemented with rapeseed oil in the control diet, extruded linseed, microalgae or a mixture of both to implement different levels of ALA and DHA with the same content in total n-3. Results were analysed for linear and quadratic effects of DHA intake. The results showed that activities of malic enzyme (ME) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) decreased linearly in the liver with dietary DHA. Although the expression of the genes of these enzymes and their activities were poorly correlated, ME and FAS expressions also decreased linearly with DHA intake. The intake of DHA down-regulates the expressions of other genes involved in fatty acid (FA) metabolism in some tissues of pigs, such as fatty acid desaturase 2 and sterol-regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 in the liver and 2,4-dienoyl CoA reductase 2 in the LD muscle. FA oxidation in the LD muscle and FA synthesis decreased in the liver with increasing amount of dietary DHA, whereas a retroconversion of DHA into EPA seems to be set up in this last tissue.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: E. Labussière, email


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