Genomic analysis of the response of mouse models to high-fat feeding shows a major role of nuclear receptors in the simultaneous regulation of lipid and inflammatory genes

A.J. Kreeft, C.J. Moen, G. Porter, S. Kasanmoentalib, R. Sverdlov, P.J.J. van Gorp, L.M. Havekes, R.R. Frants, M.H. Hofker*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The mechanisms of diet induced hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis have been widely studied by delineating the role of candidate genes in transgenic and gene targeted mouse models. However, diet induced hyperlipidemia represents a complex process determined by many lipid genes that is only partly understood. This study is aimed at delineating the events induced by dietary intervention in different mouse models at the level of gene expression using microarray analysis. The focus is on the liver as the organ primarily responding to diet, and crucial in determining plasma lipid levels. Firstly, the effect of the genotype was studied. Expression profiles of liver genes were compared between APOE3Leiden (E3L), APOE knockout (E-/-) and C57BL/6JIco (B6) mice using the Incyte GEM 2.03 array carrying 9552 genes. Several hundred differentially expressed genes were identified indicating that the genotype alone effects gene expression. Secondly, the response of E3L mice to high-fat feeding was investigated using a mild and severe high-fat diet (diet W and N, respectively). Diet W caused differential regulation of 200 genes, while diet N affected the expression of 788 genes in B6 and 1010 genes in E3L mice. Annotation of these genes using the Gene Ontology (GO) database showed that two major processes were strongly affected by genotype and diet, namely lipid metabolism and inflammation, the latter as determined by "immune/defense response and detoxification" processes. Many nuclear receptor target genes were differentially regulated, with the largest effects modulated by the severe high-fat diet N, leading to the suppression of genes involved in bile acid, sterol, steroid, fatty acid, and detoxification metabolism. Strikingly, a substantial part of these nuclear receptor target genes were commonly regulated during the different experimental conditions. The common regulation of many nuclear receptor target genes underlying lipid and detoxification processes as found in this study, suggest a defense mechanism involving many nuclear receptors to protect against the accumulation of toxic endogenous lipids and bile acids. These results further strengthen the close link between hyperlipidemia and inflammatory processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-257
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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