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Research article2018Peer reviewed

Impact of Reduced Dietary Levels of Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid on the Composition of Skin Membrane Lipids in Atlantic Salmon (SaImo salar L.)

Cheng, Ken; Bou, Marta; Ruyter, Bente; Pickova, Jana; Ehtesham, Emad; Du, Liang; Venegas, Claudia; Moazzami, Ali A.


Membrane lipids, including sphingolipids and glycerol-phospholipids, are essential in maintaining the skin's barrier function in mammals, but their composition in fish skin and their response to diets have not been evaluated. This study investigated the impacts of reducing dietary eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on membrane lipids in the skin of Atlantic salmon through a 26 week feeding regime supplying different levels (0-2.0% of dry mass) of EPA/DHA. Ceramide, glucosylceramide, sphingomyelin, sphingosine, and sphinganine in salmon skin were analyzed for the first time. Higher concentrations of glucosylceramide and sphingomyelin and higher ratios of glucosylceramide/ceramide and sphingomyelin/ceramide were detected in the deficient group, indicating interruptions in sphingolipidomics. Changes in the glycerol-phospholipid profile in fish skin caused by reducing dietary EPA and DHA were observed. There were no dietary impacts on epidermal thickness and mucus-cell density, but the changes in the phospholipid profile suggest that low dietary EPA and DHA may interrupt the barrier function of fish skin.


ceramide; DHA; EPA; glycerol-phospholipids; fish-skin health; sphingolipidomics

Published in

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
2018, Volume: 66, number: 33, pages: 8876-8884