fat-1 mice prevent high-fat plus high-sugar diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease†
High-fat and high-sugar (HFS) diets have been suggested to play a causal role in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study aimed to investigate whether fat-1 transgenic mice with a higher tissue content of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) could prevent HFS diet-induced NAFLD, compared with wild-type mice. The fat-1 and wild-type littermates had free access to a 15% fructose solution plus high-fat diet, a 15% glucose solution plus high-fat diet, or a 15% sucrose solution plus high-fat diet, respectively. Caloric intake, weight gain, biochemical parameters, histology, and gene and protein expression levels were measured after 8 weeks of intervention. Liquid intake in glucose- or sucrose-fed mice was about 2-fold compared with that in fructose-fed mice. The wild-type mice given glucose showed the highest total caloric intake and weight gain compared to the other groups. The serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and alanine transaminase (ALT) were significantly lowered in fat-1 groups compared with their paired wild-type groups. Histological analysis showed that the wild-type groups fed the HFS diets developed hepatic lipid accumulation and steatosis, compared with the fat-1 groups. The gene and protein expression levels involved in fatty acid synthesis and the toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 signaling pathway were significantly inhibited in the fat-1 groups compared with the wild-type groups. The endogenously synthesized n-3 PUFAs of the three fat-1 groups, which inhibit fatty acid synthesis and the TLR-4 signaling pathway, prevent HFS diet-induced NAFLD.