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Grant number: 23/17633-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2024
Effective date (End): April 30, 2026
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nutrition - Nutrition Biochemistry
Principal Investigator:Dennys Esper Corrêa Cintra
Grantee:Talitha Silva Meneguelli
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas (FCA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Limeira , SP, Brazil


Omega-3 fatty acids (É3) are essential for mammals, necessitating their acquisition through diet. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in flaxseed and can be bioconverted, in both animals and humans, to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), crucial for health. However, this process has low efficiency, making the intake of EPA and DHA from their sources (fish oil) essential. On the other hand, physical exercise positively interferes with the action of GPR120, É3 receptor. Preliminary data from our group show that exercise also interferes with the utilization and synthesis of É3. Therefore, this project aims to assess whether physical exercise (chronic or acute) influences the modulation of desaturation and elongation enzymes of these fatty acids, as well as É3 uptake, reducing its requirement for the organism. For this purpose, C57 mice will be distributed into four groups: sedentary group; sedentary group + 100 µL of flaxseed oil; exercised group; and exercised group + 100 µL of flaxseed oil. Exercised animals will undergo acute and chronic aerobic exercise protocols, and the study will last for 8 weeks. At the end of the experimental period, the incorporation of É3 (ALA) and its bioconversion to EPA and DHA will be measured by mass spectrometry. The expression of genes for delta-5/6 desaturases and elongases 2/5/8 will be assessed through RT-qPCR. The activity of enzymes and the GPR120 receptor will be evaluated through immunoprecipitation via Western blot. Analyses will be conducted on tissues such as liver, muscle, adipose tissue, hypothalamus, hippocampus, cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, testicles, and blood from experimental animals. Finally, histomorphological analyses of mentioned tissues will be conducted to detect intracellular lipid transporters, such as perilipins. If the hypothesis that exercise increases essential fatty acid production is confirmed, this description could be a new strategic tool improving the physiological condition of essential fatty acid action and production, with a potential outcome of modifying dietary intake recommendations for these nutrients.

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