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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Aug 15;303(4):G507-18. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00451.2011. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Altered de novo lipogenesis contributes to low adipose stores in cystic fibrosis mice.

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Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) mouse models exhibit exocrine pancreatic function, yet they do not develop adipose stores to the levels of non-CF mice. CF mice homozygous for the Cftr mutation (F508del) at 3 wk (postweaning) and 6 wk (young adult) of age had markedly less adipose tissue than non-CF mice. Food intake was markedly lower in 3-wk-old CF mice but normalized by 6 wk of age. Both 3- and 6-wk-old mice had dietary lipid absorption and fecal lipid excretion comparable to non-CF mice. Hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL), determined by (2)H incorporation, was reduced in CF mice. At 3 wk, F508del mice had significantly decreased DNL of palmitate and stearate, by 83% and 80%, respectively. By 6 wk, DNL rates in non-CF mice remained unchanged compared with 3-wk-old mice, while DNL rates of F508del mice were still reduced, by 33% and 40%, respectively. Adipose tissue fatty acid (FA) profiles were comparable in CF and non-CF mice, indicating that adipose differences are quantitative, not qualitative. A correspondingly lower content of (2)H-labeled FA was found in CF adipose tissue, consistent with reduced deposition of newly made hepatic triglycerides and/or decreased adipose tissue lipogenesis. Hepatic transcriptome analysis revealed lower mRNA expression from several genes involved in FA biosynthesis, suggesting downregulation of this pathway as a mechanism for the reduced lipogenesis. These novel data provide a model for altered lipid metabolism in CF, independent of malabsorption, and may partly explain the inability of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to completely restore normal body mass to CF patients.

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