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Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 14;7:42393. doi: 10.1038/srep42393.

Lipid droplet dynamics and insulin sensitivity upon a 5-day high-fat diet in Caucasians and South Asians.

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Department of Human Biology and Human Movement Sciences, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Department of Internal Medicine, section Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.
Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.


A 5-day High-Fat High-Calorie diet (HFHC-diet) reduces insulin-stimulated glucose disposal (Rd) in South Asian, but not Caucasian healthy lean males. We aimed to investigate if differences in myocellular lipid handling are underlying this differential response. A two-step hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and muscle biopsies were performed in 12 healthy lean Caucasian and South Asian males (BMI < 25 kg/m2, 19-25 years) before and after a 5-day HFHC-diet (regular diet + 375 mL cream/day; 1275 kcal/day; 94% fat). Triglyceride extractions and Western Blots for lipid droplet and mitochondrial proteins were performed. Intramyocellular lipid content and HFHC-diet response were similar between ethnicities (group effect: P = 0.094; diet effect: +~30%, P = 0.044). PLIN5 protein content increased upon the HFHC-diet (P = 0.031) and tended to be higher in South Asians (0.87 ± 0.42 AU vs. 1.35 ± 0.58 AU, P = 0.07). 4-HNE tended to increase in South Asians upon the HFHC-diet (interaction effect: P = 0.057). In Caucasians ΔPLIN5 content correlated with ΔRd (Caucasians: r = 0.756, P = 0.011; South Asians: r = -0.085, P = 0.816), while in South Asians Δ4-HNE associated with ΔPLIN5 content (Caucasians: r = 0.312, P = 0.380; South Asians: r = 0.771, P = 0.003). These data indicate that in Caucasians, PLIN5 may be protective against HFHC-diet induced insulin resistance, which for reasons not yet understood is not observed in South Asians, who possess increased lipid peroxidation levels.

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