The beneficial effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on diet induced obesity and impaired glucose control do not require Gpr120

PLoS One. 2014 Dec 26;9(12):e114942. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114942. eCollection 2014.


GPR120 (Ffar4) has been postulated to represent an important receptor mediating the improved metabolic profile seen upon ingestion of a diet enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). GPR120 is highly expressed in the digestive system, adipose tissue, lung and macrophages and also present in the endocrine pancreas. A new Gpr120 deficient mouse model on pure C57bl/6N background was developed to investigate the importance of the receptor for long-term feeding with a diet enriched with fish oil. Male Gpr120 deficient mice were fed two different high fat diets (HFDs) for 18 weeks. The diets contained lipids that were mainly saturated (SAT) or mainly n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Body composition, as well as glucose, lipid and energy metabolism, was studied. As expected, wild type mice fed the PUFA HFD gained less body weight and had lower body fat mass, hepatic lipid levels, plasma cholesterol and insulin levels and better glucose tolerance as compared to those fed the SAT HFD. Gpr120 deficient mice showed a similar improvement on the PUFA HFD as was observed for wild type mice. If anything, the Gpr120 deficient mice responded better to the PUFA HFD as compared to wild type mice with respect to liver fat content, plasma glucose levels and islet morphology. Gpr120 deficient animals were found to have similar energy, glucose and lipid metabolism when fed HFD PUFA compared to wild type mice. Therefore, GPR120 appears to be dispensable for the improved metabolic profile associated with intake of a diet enriched in n-3 PUFA fatty acids.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, High-Fat / methods
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • FFAR4 protein, mouse
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Glucose

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.