Myristic Acid Supplementation Aggravates High Fat Diet-Induced Adipose Inflammation and Systemic Insulin Resistance in Mice

Viswanathan Saraswathi, Narendra Kumar, Weilun Ai, Thiyagarajan Gopal, Saumya Bhatt, Edward N. Harris, Geoffrey A. Talmon, Cyrus V. Desouza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are considered to be detrimental to human health. One of the SFAs, myristic acid (MA), is known to exert a hypercholesterolemic effect in mice as well as humans. However, its effects on altering adipose tissue (AT) inflammation and systemic insulin resistance (IR) in obesity are still unclear. Here, we sought to determine the effects of a high fat (HF) diet supplemented with MA on obesity-associated metabolic disorders in mice. Wild-type C57BL/6 mice were fed a HF diet in the presence or absence of 3% MA for 12 weeks. Plasma lipids, plasma adipokines, AT inflammation, systemic IR, glucose homeostasis, and hepatic steatosis were assessed. The body weight and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) mass were significantly higher in mice receiving the HF+MA diet compared to HF diet-fed controls. Plasma total cholesterol levels were marginally increased in HF+MA-fed mice compared to controls. Fasting blood glucose was comparable between HF and HF+MA-fed mice. Interestingly, the plasma insulin and HOMA-IR index, a measure of insulin resistance, were significantly higher in HF+MA-fed mice compared to HF controls. Macrophage and inflammatory markers were significantly elevated in the AT and AT-derived stromal vascular cells upon MA feeding. Moreover, the level of circulating resistin, an adipokine promoting insulin resistance, was significantly higher in HF+MA-fed mice compared with HF controls. The insulin tolerance test revealed that the IR was higher in mice receiving the MA supplementation compared to HF controls. Moreover, the glucose tolerance test showed impairment in systemic glucose homeostasis in MA-fed mice. Analyses of liver samples showed a trend towards an increase in liver TG upon MA feeding. However, markers of oxidative stress and inflammation were reduced in the liver of mice fed an MA diet compared to controls. Taken together, our data suggest that chronic administration of MA in diet exacerbates obesity-associated insulin resistance and this effect is mediated in part, via increased AT inflammation and increased secretion of resistin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number739
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • adipose inflammation
  • insulin resistance
  • myristic acid
  • obesity
  • saturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Myristic Acid Supplementation Aggravates High Fat Diet-Induced Adipose Inflammation and Systemic Insulin Resistance in Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this