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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Oct;1832(10):1605-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 May 11.

Ketogenic essential amino acids replacement diet ameliorated hepatosteatosis with altering autophagy-associated molecules.

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Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa, Japan.


Ketogenic amino acid (KAA) replacement diet has been shown to cure hepatic steatosis, a serious liver disease associated with diverse metabolic defects. In this study, we investigated the effects of KAA replacement diet on nutrition sensing signaling pathway and analyzed whether induction of hepatic autophagy was involved. Mice are fed with high fat diet (HFD) or KAA replacement in high-fat diet (30% fat in food; HFD)-fed (HFD(KAAR)) and sacrificed at 8, 12, 16 weeks after initiation of experimental food. Hepatic autophagy was analyzed in protein expression of several autophagy-associated molecules and in light chain-3 green fluorescent protein (LC-3 GFP) transgenic mice. HFD(KAAR) showed increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and enhanced liver kinase B1 (LKB1) expression compared to control HFD-fed mice. The KAA-HFD-induced activation of AMPK was associated with an increased protein expression of sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), decreased forkhead box protein O3a (Foxo3a) level, and suppression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) phosphorylation compared with the HFD-fed mice. The intervention study revealed that a KAA-replacement diet also ameliorated all the established metabolic and autophagy defects in the HFD-fed mice, suggesting that a KAA-replacement diet can be used therapeutically in established diseases. These results indicate that KAA replacement in food could be a novel strategy to combat hepatic steatosis and metabolic abnormalities likely involvement of an induction of autophagy.


AMPK; Amino acid; Atg; Autophagy; Fatty liver; Foxo; HFD; KAA; LC-3; LKB1; Metabolic syndrome; Nutritional intervention; Obesity; adenine monophosphate-activated protein kinase; autophagy-related protein; forkhead homeobox type O; high fat diet; ketogenic amino acids; light chain-3; liver kinase B1; mTOR; mammalian target of rapamycin

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