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High-fat diet modifies expression of hepatic cellular senescence gene p16(INK4a) through chromatin modifications in adult male rats

Zhang, Xiyuan, Xu, Guanying Bianca, Zhou, Dan, Pan, Yuan-Xiang
Genes & nutrition 2018 v.13 no.1 pp. 6
adults, cell cycle checkpoints, cell senescence, chromatin, cyclin-dependent kinase, cytokines, fatty liver, genes, high fat diet, histology, histones, liver, lysine, males, messenger RNA, mitochondria, physiological state, protein synthesis, rats, secretion, weaning
BACKGROUND: Liver is the crucial organ as a hub for metabolic reactions. p16(INK4a) is a well-established cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor that plays important role in the molecular pathways of senescence, which lead to irreversible cell cycle arrest with secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and mitochondrial dysfunction. This study tested the hypothesis that cellular senescence regulated by p16(INK4a) is associated with high-fat diet in adult male rats. METHODS: Sprague Dawley rats were fed a high-fat (HF) diet or a control (C) diet for 9 weeks after weaning. At 12 weeks of age, liver samples of male rats were collected to investigate the key genes and liver physiological status. RESULTS: Both mRNA and protein expression level of cellular senescence marker, p16(INK4a), was increased significantly in HF group when compared to C group. A decrease of tri-methylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27Me3) in the coding region of p16(INK4a) was observed. On the other hand, mRNA and protein expression of another inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase, p21(Cip1), was decreased significantly in HF group; however, no significant chromatin modification was found in this gene. Histological analysis demonstrated hepatic steatosis in HF group as well as severe fat accumulation. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that HF diet regulated cellular senescence marker p16(INK4a) through chromatin modifications, which may promote hepatic fat accumulation and steatosis.