It is currently unknown whether acute exposure to n3 fatty acid–containing fish oil–based lipid emulsion Omegaven as opposed to the n6 fatty acid–containing soybean oil–based lipid emulsion Intralipid is more favorable in terms of insulin signaling and glucose uptake in the intact beating heart.
Sprague–Dawley rat hearts were perfused in the working mode for 90 minutes in the presence of 11 mM glucose and 1.2 mM palmitate bound to albumin, the first 30 minutes without insulin followed by 60 minutes with insulin (50 mU/L). Hearts were randomly allocated to 100 µM Intralipid, 100 µM Omegaven, or no emulsion (insulin treatment alone) for 60 minutes. Glycolysis and glycogen synthesis were measured with the radioactive tracer [5-3
H]glucose, and glucose uptake was calculated. Phosphorylation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), protein kinase Akt, and phosphofructokinase (PFK)-2 was measured by immunoblotting. Glycolytic metabolites were determined by enzymatic assays. Mass spectrometry was used to establish acylcarnitine profiles. Nuclear factor κB (NFκB) nuclear translocation served as reactive oxygen species (ROS) biosensor.
Insulin-mediated glucose uptake was decreased by Intralipid (4.9 ± 0.4 vs 3.7 ± 0.3 μmol/gram dry heart weight [gdw]·min; P
= .047) due to both reduced glycolysis and glycogen synthesis. In contrast, Omegaven treatment did not affect insulin-mediated glycolysis or glycogen synthesis and thus preserved glucose uptake (5.1 ± 0.3 vs 4.9 ± 0.4 μmol/gdw·min; P
= .94). While Intralipid did not affect PP2A phosphorylation status, Omegaven resulted in significantly enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation and inhibition of PP2A. This was accompanied by increased selective threonine phosphorylation of Akt and the downstream target PFK-2 at S483. PFK-1 activity was increased when compared with Intralipid as measured by the ratio of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate to fructose 6-phosphate (Omegaven 0.60 ± 0.11 versus Intralipid 0.47 ± 0.09; P
= .023), consistent with increased formation of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate by PFK2, its main allosteric activator. Omegaven lead to accumulation of acylcarnitines and fostered a prooxidant response as evidenced by NFκB nuclear translocation and activation.
Omegaven as opposed to Intralipid preserves glucose uptake via the PP2A–Akt–PFK pathway in intact beating hearts. n3 fatty acids decelerate β-oxidation causing accumulation of acylcarnitine species and a prooxidant response, which likely inhibits redox-sensitive PP2A and thus preserves insulin signaling and glucose uptake.