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Exp Gerontol. 2008 Mar;43(3):146-53. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Downregulation of plasma insulin levels and hepatic PPARgamma expression during the first week of caloric restriction in mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1630 Medical Sciences Center, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Calorie restriction extends lifespan by decreasing the rate of tumor formation, an effect occurring within 8 weeks of initiating a restricted diet. Our goal was to define how the first weeks of a calorie restricted diet (60% of ad libitum calories) affects putative mediators of the calorie restriction phenotype, focusing on regulators of fatty acid biosynthesis. In C57Bl/6 mice, insulin decreased over 50% (p<0.05) during the first week of calorie restriction whereas IGF-1 was unaffected. In the liver, PPARgamma mRNA fell to 13% of baseline after 1 week of calorie restriction (p<0.05), whereas hepatic SREBP-1c and SIRT1 mRNA levels were unaffected. No changes in abdominal or subcutaneous adipose tissue were observed until after 4 weeks of caloric restriction. We conclude that calorie restriction-induced decreases in insulin and hepatic PPARgamma are rapid enough to support a role for these molecules in triggering the initial phase of the calorie restriction phenotype.

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