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Dietary Sphingolipids Ameliorate Disorders of Lipid Metabolism in Zucker Fatty Rats

Yunoki, Keita, Renaguli, Musha, Kinoshita, Mikio, Matsuyama, Hiroyuki, Mawatari, Shiro, Fujino, Takehiko, Kodama, Yoshirou, Sugiyama, Masaaki, Ohnishi, Masao
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2010 v.58 no.11 pp. 7030–7035
diet, human nutrition, sphingolipids, rats, animal models, lipid metabolism disorders, chemical composition, liver, human diseases, gene expression, sphingomyelins, lipid content, blood lipids, cholesterol, insulin, adiponectin, transcription factors, transferases, stearoyl-CoA desaturase
Dietary sphingolipids (SL) inhibit colon carcinogenesis, reduce serum cholesterol, and improve skin barrier function and are considered to be “functional lipids”. For comparative determination of the effects of SL with different chemical compositions on lipid metabolism and its related hepatic gene expression, Zucker fatty rats were fed pure sphingomyelin (SM) of animal origin and glucosylceramide (GC) of plant origin. After 45 days, the SM and GC diets led to significant reductions in hepatic lipid and plasma non-HDL cholesterol. Both SM and GC diets decreased plasma insulin levels, whereas only the GC diet increased the plasma adiponectin level. Hepatic gene expression analysis revealed increased expression of adiponectin receptor 2 (Adipor2), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα), and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (Pdk4). However, expression of stearoyl CoA desaturase (Scd1) was significantly decreased. These results suggest that dietary SL, even of different origins and chemical compositions, may prevent fatty liver and hypercholesterolemia through improvement of adiponectin signaling and consequent increases in insulin sensitivity.