Academic article

Dietary n-3 HUFA affects mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation capacity and susceptibility to oxidative stress in Atlantic salmon

Kjær, Marte Avranden; Todorcevic, Marijana; Torstensen, Bente E.; Vegusdal, Anne; Ruyter, Bente

Publication details

Journal: Lipids, vol. 43, p. 813–827–15, 2008

Issue: 9

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0024-4201
Electronic: 1558-9307

Open Access: none


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) (90 g) were fed four different diets for 21 weeks (final weight 344 g). The levels of n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) ranged from 11% of the total fatty acids (FA) in the low n-3 diet to 21% in the intermediate n-3 diet, to 55 and 58% in the high n-3 diets. The high n-3 diets were enriched with either docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Increasing dietary levels of n-3 HUFA led to increasing percentages (from 31 to 52%) of these FA in liver lipids. The group fed the highest level of DHA had higher expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) beta and the FA beta-oxidation genes acyl-CoA oxidase (ACO) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT)-II, compared to the low n-3 groups. The high n-3 groups had reduced activity of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase and beta-oxidation capacity, together with increased activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and caspase-3 activities. In the group fed the highest level of n-3 HUFA, decreased percentages of major phospholipids (PL) in the mitochondrial and microsomal membranes of the liver were also apparent. The percentage of mitochondrial cardiolipin (Ptd(2)Gro) was 3.1 in the highest n-3 group compared to 6.6 in the intermediate group. These data clearly show an increased incidence of oxidative stress in the liver of fish fed the high n-3 diets.