Regulation of glucose and protein metabolism in growing steers by long-chain n-3 fatty acids in muscle membrane phospholipids is dose-dependent

Animal. 2010 Jan;4(1):89-101. doi: 10.1017/S1751731109991042.


A previous study showed that long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3PUFA; >18 carbons n-3) exert an anabolic effect on protein metabolism through the upregulation of insulin sensitivity and activation of the insulin signaling pathway. This study further delineates for the first time whether the anabolic effect of LCn-3PUFA on metabolism is dose responsive. Six steers were used to test three graded amounts of menhaden oil rich in LCn-3PUFA (0%, 2% and 4%; enteral infusions) according to a double 3 × 3 Latin square design. Treatment comparisons were made using iso-energetic substitutions of control oil for menhaden oil and using 6-week experimental periods. The LCn-3PUFA in muscle total membrane phospholipids increased from 8%, 14% to 20% as dietary menhaden oil increased. Feeding graded amounts of menhaden oil linearly decreased plasma insulin concentration (49, 35 and 25 μU/ml, P = 0.01). The insulin-stimulated amino acid disposal rates as assessed using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic-euaminoacidemic clamps (20, 40 and 80 mU/kg per h) were linearly increased by the incremental administrations of menhaden oil from 169, 238 to 375 μmol/kg per h (P = 0.005) during the 40 mU/kg per h clamp, and from 295, 360 and 590 μmol/kg per h (P = 0.02) during the 80 mU/kg per h clamp. Glucose disposal rate responded according to a quadratic relationship with the incremental menhaden oil amounts (P < 0.05). A regression analysis showed that 47% of the amino acid disposal rates elicited during the hyperinsulinemic clamp was related to muscle membrane LCn-3PUFA content (P = 0.003). These results show for the first time that both protein and glucose metabolism respond in a dose-dependent manner to menhaden oil and to muscle membrane LCn-3PUFA.