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Cell Metab. 2005 May;1(5):309-22.

"New" hepatic fat activates PPARalpha to maintain glucose, lipid, and cholesterol homeostasis.

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Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


De novo lipogenesis is an energy-expensive process whose role in adult mammals is poorly understood. We generated mice with liver-specific inactivation of fatty-acid synthase (FAS), a key lipogenic enzyme. On a zero-fat diet, FASKOL (FAS knockout in liver) mice developed hypoglycemia and fatty liver, which were reversed with dietary fat. These phenotypes were also observed after prolonged fasting, similarly to fasted PPARalpha-deficiency mice. Hypoglycemia, fatty liver, and defects in expression of PPARalpha target genes in FASKOL mice were corrected with a PPARalpha agonist. On either zero-fat or chow diet, FASKOL mice had low serum and hepatic cholesterol levels with elevated SREBP-2, decreased HMG-CoA reductase expression, and decreased cholesterol biosynthesis; these were also corrected with a PPARalpha agonist. These results suggest that products of the FAS reaction regulate glucose, lipid, and cholesterol metabolism by serving as endogenous activators of distinct physiological pools of PPARalpha in adult liver.

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