Reversal of obesity-induced hypertriglyceridemia by (R)-α-lipoic acid in ZDF (fa/fa) rats

Xiaohua Yi, Anjeza Pashaj, Mengna Xia, Régis Moreau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Controlling elevated blood triacylglycerol translates into substantial health benefits. The present study aimed to evaluate the triacylglycerol-lowering properties of (R)-α-lipoic acid (LA) once circulating triacylglycerol levels have become elevated, and identify the molecular targets of LA. Nine-week old male ZDF (fa/fa) rats were fed a chow diet supplemented with 3. g LA per kg diet or pair fed for two weeks (8 rats per treatment). We determined changes in blood triacylglycerol, insulin, non-esterified fatty acids, and ketone bodies concentrations. We analyzed the expression of genes and proteins involved in fatty acid and triacylglycerol metabolism in liver, epididymal fat, and skeletal muscle. Feeding LA to ZDF rats (a) corrected severe hypertriglyceridemia, (b) lowered abdominal fat mass, (c) raised circulating fibroblast growth factor-21 and Fgf21 liver gene expression, (d) repressed lipogenic gene expression of ATP-citrate synthase (Acly), acetyl-coA carboxylase 1 (Acaca), fatty acid synthase (Fasn), sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase 1 (Gpam), adiponutrin (Pnpla3) in the liver and adipose tissue, (e) decreased hepatic protein levels of ACC1/2, FASN and 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase catalytic subunit α (AMPKα), (f) did not change phospho-AMPKα/AMPKα and phospho-ACC/ACC ratios, (g) stimulated liver gene expression of PPARα target genes carnitine O-palmitoyltransferase 1β (Cpt1b) and acyl-CoA thioesterase 1 (Acot1) but not carnitine O-palmitoyltransferase 1α (Cpt1a). This is evidence that short-term LA feeding to obese rats reverses severe hypertriglyceridemia. FGF21 may mediate the beneficial metabolic effects of LA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-395
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 27 2013


  • Dyslipidemia
  • Lipotoxicity
  • Steatosis
  • Triglyceride
  • Zucker rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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