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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Aug 20;99(17):11482-6. Epub 2002 Aug 12.

Loss of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 function protects mice against adiposity.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. ntambi@biochem.wisc.edu


Stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) is a central lipogenic enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleate (C18:1) and palmitoleate (C16:1), which are components of membrane phospholipids, triglycerides, wax esters, and cholesterol esters. Several SCD isoforms (SCD1-3) exist in the mouse. Here we show that mice with a targeted disruption of the SCD1 isoform have reduced body adiposity, increased insulin sensitivity, and are resistant to diet-induced weight gain. The protection from obesity involves increased energy expenditure and increased oxygen consumption. Compared with the wild-type mice the SCD1-/- mice have increased levels of plasma ketone bodies but reduced levels of plasma insulin and leptin. In the SCD1-/- mice, the expression of several genes of lipid oxidation are up-regulated, whereas lipid synthesis genes are down-regulated. These observations suggest that a consequence of SCD1 deficiency is an activation of lipid oxidation in addition to reduced triglyceride synthesis and storage.

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