Fasting triggers a complex array of adaptive metabolic and hormonal responses including an augmentation in the capacity for mitochondrial fatty acid (FA) oxidation in skeletal muscle. This study hypothesized that this adaptive response is mediated by increased mRNA of key genes central to the regulation of fat oxidation in human skeletal muscle. Fasting dramatically increased UCP3 gene expression, by 5-fold at 15 h and 10-fold at 40 h. However the expression of key genes responsible for the uptake, transport, oxidation, and re-esterification of FA remained unchanged following 15 and 40 h of fasting. Likewise there was no change in the mRNA abundance of transcription factors. This suggests a unique role for UCP3 in the regulation of FA homeostasis during fasting as adaptation to 40 h of fasting does not require alterations in the expression of other genes necessary for lipid metabolism.
(c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).