Glycemic index differences of high-fat diets modulate primarily lipid metabolism in murine adipose tissue.

E.M. van Schothorst*, A. Bunschoten, E. Verlinde, P. Schrauwen, J. Keijer

*Corresponding author for this work

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van Schothorst EM, Bunschoten A, Verlinde E, Schrauwen P, Keijer J. Glycemic index differences of high-fat diets modulate primarily lipid metabolism in murine adipose tissue. Physiol Genomics 43: 942-949, 2011. First published June 14, 2011; doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00042.2011.-A low vs. high glycemic index of a high-fat (HF) diet (LGI and HGI, respectively) significantly retarded adverse health effects in adult male C57BL/6J mice, as shown recently (Van Schothorst EM, Bunschoten A, Schrauwen P, Mensink RP, Keijer J. FASEB J 23: 1092-1101, 2009). The LGI diet enhanced whole body insulin sensitivity and repressed HF diet-induced body and white adipose tissue (WAT) weight gain, resulting in significantly reduced serum leptin and resistin levels and increased adiponectin levels. We questioned how WAT is modulated and characterized the molecular mechanisms underlying the glycemic index-mediated effects using whole genome microarrays. This showed that the LGI diet mainly exerts its beneficial effects via substrate metabolism, especially fatty acid metabolism. In addition, cell adhesion and cytoskeleton remodeling showed reduced expression, in line with lower WAT mass. An important transcription factor showing enhanced expression is PPAR-gamma. Furthermore, serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and HDL- and LDL-cholesterol were all significantly reduced by LGI diet, and simultaneously muscle insulin sensitivity was significantly increased as analyzed by protein kinase B/Akt phosphorylation. Cumulatively, even though these mice were fed an HF diet, the LGI diet induced significantly favorable changes in metabolism in WAT. These effects suggest a partial overlap with pharmacological approaches by thiazolidinediones to treat insulin resistance and statins for hypercholesterolemia. It is therefore tempting to speculate that such a dietary approach might beneficially support pharmacological treatment of insulin resistance or hypercholesterolemia in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-949
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • dietary starch
  • transcriptomics
  • insulin sensitivity
  • humanized diet
  • C57BL/6J MICE

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