Dietary (n-3) fatty acids alter fatty acid composition and prostaglandin synthesis in rat testis

P. S. Chanmugam, M. D. Boudreau, D. H. Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of linolenic acid [18:3(n-3)], compared with the long-chain (n-3) fatty acids in fish oil, in suppressing arachidonic acid [20:4(n-6)] metabolism in rat testis. Six groups of rats were fed three levels of 18: 3(n-3) or fish oil, and the fatty acid composition of testis parenchyma lipids and prostaglandin (PG) I2 synthesis by tunica were determined after 12 wk. Levels of docosapentaenoic acid [22:5(n-6)], the major 22-carbon fatty acid in rat testis lipids, were significantly depressed compared with the control by both linolenic acid and fish oil; however, testis weights were not affected significantly. Arachidonic acid levels also were depressed significantly in testis lipids by dietary (n-3) fatty acids, but the decreases were not as pronounced as those observed in other tissues. The synthesis of PGI2 was significantly reduced compared with the control by (n-3) fatty acid feeding, but there were no differences among the experimental groups. Both 18:3(n-3) and the longer-chain (n-3) fatty acids from fish oil reduce levels of 20: 4(n-6) and 22:5(n-6) in testis lipids and the capacity of the tunica to synthesize PGI2, but these fatty acids seem to cause no defect in testicular development as indicated by weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1178
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatty acids
  • Fish oil
  • Linolenic acid
  • Prostaglandins
  • Rats
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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