Delta-6 desaturase (Fads2) deficiency alters triacylglycerol/ fatty acid cycling in murine white adipose tissue

Chenxuan Wang, Barbora Hucik, Ousseynou Sarr, Liam H. Brown, Kyle R.D. Wells, Keith R. Brunt, Manabu T. Nakamura, Ewa Harasim-Symbor, Adrian Chabowski, David M. Mutch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Δ-6 desaturase (D6D) enzyme is not only critical for the synthesis of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from α-linolenic acid (ALA), but recent evidence suggests that it also plays a role in adipocyte lipid metabolism and body weight; however, the mechanisms remain largely unexplored. The goal of this study was to investigate if a D6D deficiency would inhibit triacylglycerol storage and alter lipolytic and lipogenic pathways in mouse white adipose tissue (WAT) depots due to a disruption in EPA and DHA production. Male C57BL/6J D6D knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were fed either a 7% w/w lard or flax (ALA rich) diet for 21 weeks. Energy expenditure, physical activity, and substrate utilization were measured with metabolic caging. Inguinal and epididymal WAT depots were analyzed for changes in tissue weight, fatty acid composition, adipocyte size, and markers of lipogenesis, lipolysis, and insulin signaling. KO mice had lower body weight, higher serum nonesterified fatty acids, smaller WAT depots, and reduced adipocyte size compared to WT mice without altered food intake, energy expenditure, or physical activity, regardless of the diet. Markers of lipogenesis and lipolysis were more highly expressed in KO mice compared to WT mice in both depots, regardless of the diet. These changes were concomitant with lower basal insulin signaling in WAT. Collectively, a D6D deficiency alters triacylglycerol/ fatty acid cycling in WAT by promoting lipolysis and reducing fatty acid re-esterification, which may be partially attributed to a reduction in WAT insulin signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100376
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Fads2
  • delta-6 desaturase
  • lipogenesis
  • lipolysis
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • triacylglycerol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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