There is evidence that dietary fats are important components contributing in bone health and that bone mineral density is inversely related to sodium intake. Salt loading is also known to impose negative effects on renal function. The present study aimed to determine the effect of the polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 on bone changes imposed by salt loading, highlighting the role of kidney as a potential mechanism involved in this effect. Male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control group, salt-loaded group consuming 2% NaCl solution as drinking water for 8 weeks, and omega-3-treated salt-loaded group receiving 1 g/kg/day omega-3 by gavage with consumption of 2% NaCl solution for 8 weeks. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Plasma levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, inorganic phosphorus (Pi), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), creatinine, urea, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D3], and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1) were measured. The right tibia and kidney were removed for histologic examination and renal immunohistochemical analysis for endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was performed. The results revealed that omega-3 reduced SBP, DBP, and MAP and plasma levels of sodium, potassium, Pi, creatinine, urea, and TGF-β1, but increased plasma levels of calcium, ALP, and 1,25(OH)2D3 as well as renal eNOS. Omega-3 increased cortical and trabecular bone thickness, decreased osteoclast number, and increased newly formed osteoid bone. Renal morphology was found preserved. In conclusion, omega-3 prevents the disturbed bone status imposed by salt loading. This osteoprotective effect is possibly mediated by attenuation of alterations in Ca(2+), Pi, and ALP, and improvement of renal function and arterial blood pressure.
Keywords: Bone; omega-3; renal function; salt intake.