Dietary oleic acid regulates hepatic lipogenesis through a liver X receptor-dependent signaling


Olive oil consumption is beneficial for health as it is associated with a decreased prevalence of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Oleic acid is, by far, the most abundant component of olive oil. Since it can be made through de novo synthesis in animals, it is not an essential fatty acid. While it has become clear that dietary oleic acid regulates many biological processes, the signaling pathway involved in these regulations remains poorly defined. In this work we tested the impact of an oleic acid-rich diet on hepatic gene expression. We were particularly interested in addressing the contribution of Liver X Receptors (LXR) in the control of genes involved in hepatic lipogenesis, an essential process in whole body energy homeostasis. We used wild-type mice and transgenic mice deficient for both alpha and beta Liver X Receptor isoforms (LXR-/-) fed a control or an oleate enriched diet. We observed that hepatic-lipid accumulation was enhanced as well as the expression of lipogenic genes in the liver of wild-type mice fed the oleate enriched diet. In contrast, none of these changes occurred in the liver of LXR-/- mice. Strikingly, oleate-rich diet reduced cholesterolemia in wild-type mice and induced signs of liver inflammation and damage in LXR-/- mice but not in wild-type mice. This work suggests that dietary oleic acid reduces cholesterolemia while promoting LXR-dependent hepatic lipogenesis without detrimental effects to the liver.

PloS one