Diet-induced obesity associated with steatosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation in liver

Yanhua Peng, Drew Rideout, Steven Rakita, James Lee, Michel Murr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Obesity induces steatosis and increases oxidative stress, as well as chronic inflammation in the liver. The balance between lipogenesis and lipolysis is disrupted in obese animals. At a cellular level, the changes in metabolic sensors and energy regulators are poorly understood. We hypothesized that diet-induced steatosis increases oxidative stress, inflammation, and changes the metabolic regulators to promote energy storage in mice. The setting was a university-affiliated basic science research laboratory. Methods: Four-week-old C57BL mice were fed a high-fat diet (n = 8) or regular chow (n = 8) for 7 weeks. The liver sections were stained for fat content and immunofluorescence. Liver homogenates were used for protein analysis by immunoblotting and mRNA analysis by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The gels were quantified using densitometry P ≤.05 was considered significant. Results: The high-fat diet upregulated protein kinase-C atypical isoforms ζ and λ and decreased glucose tolerance and the interaction of insulin receptor substrate 2 with phosphoinositide kinase-3. The high-fat diet increased the transcriptional factors liver X receptor (4321 ± 98 versus 2981 ± 80) and carbohydrate response element-binding protein (5132 ± 135 versus 3076 ± 91), the lipogenesis genes fatty acid binding protein 5, stearoyl-co-enzyme A desaturase-1, and acetyl-co-enzyme A carboxylase protein, and fatty acid synthesis. The high-fat diet decreased 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (2561 ± 78 versus 1765 ± 65), glucokinase-3β (2.214 ± 34 versus 3356 ± 86), and SIRT1 (2015 ± 76 versus 3567 ± 104) and increased tumor necrosis factor-α (3415 ± 112 versus 2042 ± 65), nuclear factor kappa B (5123 ± 201 versus 2562 ± 103), cyclooxygenase-2 (4230 ± 113 versus 2473 ± 98), nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (3501 ± 106 versus 1600 ± 69) and reactive oxygen species production (all P <.001, obese mice versus lean mice). Conclusion: A high-fat diet impairs glucose tolerance and hepatic insulin signaling, upregulates transcriptional and translational activities that promote lipogenesis, cytokine production, proinflammatory signaling, and oxidative stress, and downregulates lipolysis. Understanding the complex cellular signals triggered by obesity might have profound clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Energy regulation
  • Fatty acid
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Diet-induced obesity associated with steatosis, oxidative stress, and inflammation in liver'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this