Obesity is characterised by excessive accumulation of fat in white adipose tissue (WAT) which is compartmentalised into two anatomically and functionally diverse depots – visceral and subcutaneous. Advice to substitute essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for saturated fatty acids is a cornerstone of various obesity management strategies. Despite an array of reports on the role of essential PUFAs on obesity, there still exists a lacuna on their mode of action in distinct depots i.e. visceral (VWAT) and subcutaneous (SWAT). The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of fish oil and corn oil on VWAT and SWAT in high-fat-diet-induced rodent model of obesity. Fish oil (FO) supplementation positively ameliorated the effects of HFD by regulating the anthropometrical and serum lipid parameters. FO led to an overall reduction in fat mass in both depots while specifically inducing beiging of adipocytes in SWAT as indicated by increased UCP1 and PGC1α. We also observed an upregulation of AMPKα and ACC1/2 phosphorylation on FO supplementation in SWAT suggesting a role of AMPK-PGC1α-UCP1 axis in beiging of adipose tissue. On the other hand, corn oil supplementation did not show any improvements in adipose tissue metabolism in both the depots of adipose tissue. The results were analysed using one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test in Graphpad Prism 5.0. Combined together our results suggest that n-3 PUFAs exert their anti-obesity effect by regulating adipokine secretion and inducing beiging of SWAT, hence increasing energy expenditure via thermogenic upregulation.
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