The role of omega-3 in bone elongation

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are essential components of the phospholipid membrane and as precursors for eicosanoid synthesis. The two main classes of PUFA are omega-3 and omega-6.Studies show that balanced amounts of these essential fatty acids in the diet have a beneficial effect on bone health and lack of them can cause an unoptimal modeling of the bone and could lead to osteoporosis later in life. In this study we evaluate the influence of omega-3 fatty acids on chondrocyte in the growth plate and bone development.

For this purpose we used both in vivo and in vitro models; the transgenic mice expressing the FAT-1 gene which encodes for omega-3 fatty acid desaturase enzyme, has the ability to convert omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Histological analysis of their growth plate showed significantly wider zones with more cells in the growth plates of the transgenic compared to control mice, suggesting an accelerated elongation. The mechanical properties of the bones were examined on tibia using a μCT scan analysis. Bone volume, bone area and thickness of the cortical bone were significantly higher in transgenic mice compared to control.

As an in vitro model we used the ATDC5 chondrogenic cell line that undergoes stages of proliferation and differentiation. We found that treatment with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA resulted in an increase in cell proliferation. Moreover, longer period of treatment caused an increase in ALP activity and Aggrercan, Collagen II and Collagen X gene expression, suggesting that omega-3 PUFA enhance chondrogenesis.

These results indicate that omega-3 PUFA has a positive effect on the development of bone through their effect on growth plate chondrocytes, further work will examine their influence at early stages of life and embryogenesis and its implication in later stages of bone aging.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)S163-S163
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 7 May 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of omega-3 in bone elongation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this