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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013 Dec;102(3):183-92. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2013.10.010. Epub 2013 Oct 26.

The effect of LXRα, ChREBP and Elovl6 in liver and white adipose tissue on medium- and long-chain fatty acid diet-induced insulin resistance.

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Department of Endocrinology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, China.



We aimed to investigate the effects of LXRα, ChREBP and Elovl6 in the development of insulin resistance-induced by medium- and long-chain fatty acids.


Sprague Dawley rats were fed a standard chow diet (Control group) or a high-fat, high sucrose diet with different fat sources (coconut oil, lard, sunflower and fish oil) for 8 weeks. These oils were rich in medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA group), long-chain saturated fatty acids (LCFA group), n-6 and n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA and n-3 PUFA groups), respectively, which had different chain lengths and degrees of unsaturation. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp with [6-(3)H] glucose infusion was performed in conscious rats to assess hepatic insulin sensitivity.


LCFA and n-6 PUFA groups induced hepatic insulin resistance and increased liver X receptor α (LXRα), carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP) and long-chain fatty acid elongase 6 (Elovl6) expression in liver and white adipose tissue (WAT). Furthermore, LCFA and n-6 PUFA groups suppressed Akt serine 473 phosphorylation in liver and WAT. By contrast, in liver and WAT, MCFA and n-3 PUFA groups decreased LXRα, ChREBP and Elovl6 expression and improved insulin signaling and insulin resistance, but Akt serine 473 phosphorylation was not restored by MCFA group in WAT.


This study demonstrated that the mechanism of the different effects of medium- and long-chain fatty acids on hepatic insulin resistance involves LXRα, ChREBP and Elovl6 alternations in liver and WAT. It points to a new strategy for ameliorating insulin resistance and diabetes through intervention on Elovl6 or its control genes.


Carbohydrate response element binding protein; Hepatic glucose production; Insulin resistance; Liver X receptor α; Long-chain fatty acid elongase 6

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