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J Nutr Biochem. 2004 Aug;15(8):485-92.

Suppression of hepatic fatty acid synthase by feeding alpha-linolenic acid rich perilla oil lowers plasma triacylglycerol level in rats.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Korea.


This study was performed to determine the effects of dietary perilla oil, a n-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) source, on hepatic lipogenesis as a possible mechanism of lowering triacylglycerol (TG) levels. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained for a 3-hour feeding protocol and fed one of five semipurified diets as follows: 1% (w/w) corn oil control diet, or one of four diets supplemented with 10% each of beef tallow, corn oil, perilla oil, and fish oil. Two separate experiments were performed to compare the effects of feeding periods, 4 weeks and 4 days. Hepatic and plasma TG levels were decreased in rats fed perilla oil and fish oil diets, compared with corn oil and beef tallow diets. The activities of hepatic lipogenic enzymes such as fatty acid synthase (FAS), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and malic enzyme were suppressed in the fish oil, perilla oil, and corn oil-fed groups, and the effect was the most significant in the fish oil-fed group. Also, the activities of glycolytic enzymes, glucokinase, and L-pyruvate kinase showed the similar trend as that of lipogenic enzymes. The activity of FAS, the key regulatory enzyme in lipogenesis, was positively correlated with hepatic and plasma TG levels and reduced significantly in the perilla oil-fed group compared with corn oil-fed group. In addition, the FAS activity was negatively correlated with the hepatic microsomal content of EPA and DHA. In conclusion, suppression of FAS plays a significant role in the hypolipidemic effects observed in rats fed ALA rich perilla oil and these effects were associated with the increase of hepatic microsomal EPA and DHA contents.

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