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Obesity potentiates development of fatty liver and insulin resistance, but not atherosclerosis, in high-fat diet-fed agouti LDLR-deficient mice.


Coenen KRKimberly R , Hasty AH Alyssa H . American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism. 2007 8 ; 293(2). E492-9


Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, and its related disorders are placing a considerable strain on our healthcare system. Although they are not always coincident, obesity is often accompanied by hyperlipidemia. Both obesity and hyperlipidemia are independently associated with atherosclerosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and insulin resistance (IR). Thus, we sought to determine the relative contributions of obesity and hyperlipidemia to these associated pathologies. Obese agouti (A(y)/a) mice and their littermate controls (a/a) were placed on an LDL receptor (LDLR)(-/-) background. At 4 mo of age, mice were either maintained on chow diet (CD) or placed on Western diet (WD) for 12 wk. These genetic and dietary manipulations yielded four experimental groups: 1) lean, a/a;LDLR(-/-)CD; 2) genetic-induced obesity (GIO), A(y)/a;LDLR(-/-)CD; 3) diet-induced obesity (DIO), a/a;LDLR(-/-)WD; and 4) genetic- plus diet-induced obesity (GIO/DIO), A(y)/a;LDLR(-/-)WD. Lipoprotein profiles revealed increased VLDL and LDL particles in WD-fed mice compared with CD-fed controls. The hyperlipidemia present in this mouse model was the result of both increased hepatic triglyceride production and delayed lipoprotein clearance from the plasma. Both WD-fed groups exhibited similar levels of atherosclerotic lesion area, with increased obesity in the GIO/DIO group having no impact on atherogenesis. However, the severe obesity in the GIO/DIO group did aggravate NAFLD and IR. These findings suggest that, although obesity and hyperlipidemia exert individual pathological effects, the combination of the two has the potential to exert an additive effect on NAFLD and IR but not atherosclerosis in this mouse model.