Objective: To examine the effects of the consumption of fish oils on the gene expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL, EC 22.214.171.124) in human adipose tissue. In order to measure LPL mRNA in adipose tissue samples obtained by needle biopsy from human volunteers a competitive, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) protocol was developed.
Design: A randomised controlled, single blind cross over dietary study which compared the effects of a low level n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) using normal foods enriched with eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) (test diet), with non-enriched but otherwise identical foods (control). The diets were consumed for a period of 22 d with a wash out period of 5 months between the diets.
Setting: Free-living individuals associated with the University of Surrey.
Subjects: Six male subjects with a mean (±sd) age of 51.2±3.6 y were recruited.
Major Outcome Measures: Pre-and postprandial blood samples were taken for the measurement of triacylglycerol (TAG), postheparin LPL activity and adipose tissue samples for the measurement of LPL mRNA levels.
Results: Mean LPL expression values were 4.12×105 molecules of LPL mRNA per ng total RNA on the control diet and 4.60×105 molecules of LPL mRNA per ng total RNA on the n-3 PUFA enriched (test) diet. There was no significant difference between the levels of LPL expression following each diet, consistent with the lack of change in TAG levels in response to increased dietary n-3 PUFA intake. However, the change in LPL expression (Test–Control diet) correlated significantly with the change in fasting TAG levels (P=0.03, R=−0.87 and R2=0.75) and with the total area under the TAG-time response curve (P=0.003, R=−0.96 and R2=0.92) in individuals.
Conclusions: These findings, although based on a small number of subjects, suggest that LPL expression may be a determinant of plasma TAG levels. The development of this methodology should allow further elucidation of the effects of dietary manipulation and disease processes on lipid clearance and regulation in human subjects.
Sponsorship: This work was funded by BBSRC.
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Murphy, M., Brooks, C., Rockett, J. et al. The quantitation of lipoprotein lipase mRNA in biopsies of human adipose tissue, using the polymerase chain reaction, and the effect of increased consumption of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 441–447 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600774