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Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Jan-Feb;61(1):45-53. doi: 10.1590/2359-3997000000186. Epub 2016 Aug 25.

Liver metabolic changes induced by conjugated linoleic acid in calorie-restricted rats.

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Programa de Pós-Graduação de Ciências Biomédicas, Centro Universitário Hermínio Ometto, Uniararas, Araras, SP, Brazil.



Complexes like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduce the percentage of body fat by increasing energy expenditure, fat oxidation, or both. The aim of this study was to verify if CLA is able to mimic caloric restriction (CR), and determine the effects of CLA on liver metabolic profile of young adult male Wistar rats.

Materials and methods:

We divided 36 animals into the following groups: 1) Control; 2) CLA (1% of daily food intake, 21 days, orogastric intubation); 3) Restr (fed 60% of the diet offered to controls); and 4) CLA Restr. Liver tissues were processed for biochemical and molecular or mitochondrial isolation (differential centrifugation) and blood samples were collected for biochemical analyses.


Treatment of the animals for 21 days with 1% CLA alone or combined with CR increased liver weight and respiration rates of liver mitochondria suggesting significant mitochondrial uncoupling. We observed a decrease in adipose tissue leading to insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and hepatic steatosis due to increased liver cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels, but no significant effects on body mass. The expression of hepatic cellular connexins (43 and 26) was significantly higher in the CLA group compared with the Control or Restr groups.


CLA does not seem to be a safe compound to induce mass loss because it upregulates the mRNA expression of connexins and induces hepatic mitochondrial changes and lipids disorders.

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