Dietary fatty acids on aortic root calcification in mice with metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and chronic low-grade inflammation. The aim of this study was to determine the role of high-fat low-cholesterol diets (HFLCDs) rich in SFAs (HFLCD-SFAs), MUFAs (HFLCD-MUFAs) or MUFAs plus omega-3 long-chain PUFAs (HFLCD-PUFAs) on vascular calcification by the modulation of the RANKL/RANK/OPG system in the aortic roots of Lepob/obLDLR−/− mice. Animals fed with HFLCD-SFAs had increased weight and a greater atheroma plaque size, calcification, and RANKL/CATHK expression in the aortic root than mice on MUFA-enriched diets, with an increasing OPG expression in the aortic roots of the latter. Our study demonstrates that compared to dietary SFAs, MUFAs from olive oil protect against atherosclerosis by interfering with vascular calcification via the RANKL/RANK/OPG system in the setting of MetS. These findings open opportunities for developing novel nutritional strategies with olive oil as the most important dietary source of MUFAs (notably oleic acid) to prevent cardiovascular complications in MetS.