Fish oil and inflammatory status alter the n-3 to n-6 balance of the endocannabinoid and oxylipin metabolomes in mouse plasma and tissues

Balvers, M.G.J.; Verhoeckx, K.C.M.; Bijlsma, S.; Rubingh, C.M.; Meijerink, J.; Wortelboer, H.M.; Witkamp, R.F.


It is well established that dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids is associated with anti-inflammatory effects, and this has been linked to modulation of the oxylipin and endocannabinoid metabolomes. However, the amount of data on specific tissue effects is limited, and it is not known how inflammation affects this relation. In the present study we systematically explored the combined effects of n-3 fatty acid diets and inflammation on the in vivo endocannabinoid and oxylipin metabolomes using a multicompartment, detailed targeted lipidomics approach. Male C57BL/6 mice received diets containing 0, 1, or 3 % w/w fish oil (FO) for 6 weeks, after which 2 mg/kg LPS or saline was administered i.p. Levels of endocannabinoids/N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) and oxylipins, covering n-3 and n-6 fatty acid derived compounds, were determined in plasma, liver, ileum and adipose tissue using LC–MS/MS. FO generally increased ‘n-3’ NAEs and oxylipins at the expense of compounds derived from other fatty acids, affecting all branches of the oxylipin metabolome. LPS generally increased levels of endocannabinoids/NAEs and oxylipins, with opposing effects across plasma and tissues. Multivariate data analysis revealed that separation between diet groups in the saline treated groups was primarily explained by decreases in other than n-3 derived compounds. In the LPS treated groups, the separation was primarily explained by increases in n-3 derived compounds. In conclusion, FO caused marked changes in the n-3 to n-6 balance of the endocannabinoid and oxylipin metabolomes, with specific effects depending on inflammatory status.