Article

Liver fatty acid binding protein gene ablation potentiates hepatic cholesterol accumulation in cholesterol-fed female mice

Deptarment of Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4467, USA.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.74). 02/2006; 290(1):G36-48. DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00510.2004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although liver fatty acid binding protein (L-FABP) is postulated to influence cholesterol homeostasis, the physiological significance of this hypothesis remains to be resolved. This issue was addressed by examining the response of young (7 wk) female mice to L-FABP gene ablation and a cholesterol-rich diet. In control-fed mice, L-FABP gene ablation alone induced hepatic cholesterol accumulation (2.6-fold), increased bile acid levels, and increased body weight gain (primarily as fat tissue mass). In cholesterol-fed mice, L-FABP gene ablation further enhanced the hepatic accumulation of cholesterol (especially cholesterol ester, 12-fold) and potentiated the effects of dietary cholesterol on increased body weight gain, again mainly as fat tissue mass. However, in contrast to the effects of L-FABP gene ablation in control-fed mice, biliary levels of bile acids (as well as cholesterol and phospholipids) were reduced. These phenotypic alterations were not associated with differences in food intake. In conclusion, it was shown for the first time that L-FABP altered cholesterol metabolism and the response of female mice to dietary cholesterol. While the biliary and lipid phenotype of female wild-type L-FABP+/+ mice was sensitive to dietary cholesterol, L-FABP gene ablation dramatically enhanced many of the effects of dietary cholesterol to greatly induce hepatic cholesterol (primarily cholesterol ester) and triacylglycerol accumulation as well as to potentiate body weight gain (primarily as fat tissue mass). Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that L-FABP is involved in the physiological regulation of cholesterol metabolism, body weight gain, and obesity.

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