In this study, we investigated the lipolytic effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated in a serum-free medium with 300 μM of EPA for 3, 6, 12, and 24 h. In comparison with the control, intracellular lipid accumulation was significantly decreased by 24% at 24 h following the addition of EPA (P < 0.05). Under the same experimental conditions, there was an increase of glycerol and free fatty acids (FFAs). The mRNA level of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I-a, a component of the fatty-acid shuttle system involved in the mitochondrial oxidation of long-chain fatty acids, was also significantly elevated by EPA (P < 0.05). However, the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), which are involved in adipogenesis, was significantly down-regulated by EPA (P < 0.05). These results suggest that EPA may modulate lipid metabolism by stimulation of lipolysis, which was associated with induction of lipolytic gene expression and suppression of adipogenic gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
- Acetyl-CoA carboxylase
- Carnitine palmitoyltransferase I-α
- Free fatty acid
- Gene expression
- Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ