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World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jan 14;23(2):256-264. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i2.256.

Mitochondrial carnitine palmitoyl transferase-II inactivity aggravates lipid accumulation in rat hepatocarcinogenesis.

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Juan-Juan Gu, Wen-Jie Zheng, Deng-Fu Yao, Research Center of Clinical Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, Jiangsu Province, China.



To investigate the dynamic alteration of mitochondrial carnitine palmitoyl transferase II (CPT-II) expression during malignant transformation of rat hepatocytes.


Sprague-Dawley male rats were fed with normal, high fat (HF), and HF containing 2-fluorenylacetamide (2-FAA) diet, respectively. According to the Hematoxylin and Eosin staining of livers, rats were divided into control, fatty liver, degeneration, precancerous, and cancerous groups. Liver lipids were dyed with Oil Red O, CPT-II alterations were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, and compared with CPT-II specific concentration (μg/mg protein). Levels of total cholesterol (Tch), triglyceride (TG), and amino-transferases [alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST)] were determined by the routine methods.


After intake of HF and/or HF+2-FAA diets, the rat livers showed mass lipid accumulation. The lipid level in the control group was significantly lower than that in other groups. The changes of serum TG and Tch levels were abnormally increasing, 2-3 times more than those in the controls (P < 0.05). During the rat liver morphological changes from normal to cancer development process with hepatocyte injury, serum AST and ALT levels were significantly higher (4-8 times, P < 0.05) than those in the control group. The specific concentration of CPT-II in liver tissues progressively decreased during hepatocyte malignant transformation, with the lowest CPT-II levels in the cancer group than in any of the other groups (P < 0.05).


Low CPT-II expression might lead to abnormal hepatic lipid accumulation, which should promote the malignant transformation of hepatocytes.


Carnitine palmitoyl transferase-II; Dynamic expression; Fatty liver; Malignant transformation of hepatocytes; Rat model

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