Dietary α-lactalbumin induced fatty liver by enhancing nuclear liver X receptor αβ/sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c/PPARγ expression and minimising PPARα/carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 expression and AMP-activated protein kinase α phosphorylation associated with atherogenic dyslipidaemia, insulin resistance and oxidative stress in Balb/c mice.Br J Nutr. 2017 Dec; 118(11):914-929.BJ
The effect and the role played by dietary α-lactalbumin (α-LAC) on hepatic fat metabolism are yet to be fully elucidated. We reported previously that α-LAC intake induced atherogenic dyslipidaemia in Balb/c mice. The aim of the present study was to investigate if this atherogenic effect could be due to a possible α-LAC-induced hepatic steatosis. We examine the ability of dietary α-LAC to induce liver steatosis, identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatic lipid metabolism in association with the lipid profile, peripheral insulin resistance (IR) and changes in the hepatic oxidative environment. Male Balb/c mice (n 6) were fed with diets containing either chow or 14 % α-LAC for 4 weeks. The α-LAC-fed mice developed abdominal adiposity and IR. Moderate liver steatosis with increased TAG and NEFA contents was correlated with atherogenic dyslipidaemia. There was increased nuclear expression of liver X receptor αβ (LXRαβ), sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and PPARγ transcription factors and of the cytosolic enzymes acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1) and fatty acid synthase involved in the hepatic de novo lipogenesis. The opposite was found for the nuclear receptor PPARα and the mitochondrial enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1), leading to reduced fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO). These changes were associated with a significant decrease in both p-Thr172-AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) (inactivation) and p-Ser79-ACC1 (activation) and with a more oxidative liver environment increasing lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation and reducing GSH:GSSG ratio in the α-LAC-fed mice. In conclusion, 4 weeks of 14 % α-LAC feeding induced liver steatosis associated with atherogenic dyslipidaemia, IR and oxidative stress by enhancing nuclear LXRαβ/SREBP-1c/PPARγ expression and diminishing PPARα/CPT-1 expression and AMPKα phosphorylation shifting the hepatic FAO toward fatty acid synthesis in Balb/c mice.