Dietary phosphatidylcholine alleviates fatty liver induced by orotic acid

Nutrition. 2005 Jul-Aug;21(7-8):867-73. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2004.11.019.


Objective: We compared the effect of dietary phosphatidylcholine (PC) with that of triacylglycerol (TG), both with the same fatty acid profiles, on fatty infiltration in orotic acid (OA)-induced fatty liver of Sprague-Dawley rats.

Methods: Rats were fed an OA-supplemented diets containing TG (TG+OA group) or PC (20% of dietary lipid, PC+OA group) for 10 d. Rats fed the TG diet without OA supplementation served as the basal group.

Results: Administering OA significantly increased the weights and TG accumulation in livers of the TG+OA group compared with the basal group. These changes were attributed to significant increases in the activities of fatty acid synthase, malic enzyme, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which are fatty acid synthetic enzymes, and phosphatidate phosphohydrolase, a rate-limiting enzyme of TG synthesis. However, the PC+OA group did not show TG accumulation and OA-induced increases of these enzyme activities. Further, a significant increase in the activity of carnitine palmitoyl transferase, a rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid beta-oxidation, was found in the PC+OA group.

Conclusions: Dietary PC appears to alleviate the OA-induced hepatic steatosis and hepatomegaly, mainly through the attenuation of hepatic TG synthesis and enhancement of fatty acid beta-oxidation in Sprague-Dawley rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / genetics
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / genetics
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / metabolism
  • Fatty Liver / chemically induced
  • Fatty Liver / drug therapy*
  • Fatty Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Orotic Acid / toxicity
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphatidylcholines / administration & dosage
  • Phosphatidylcholines / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use*
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phospholipids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triglycerides
  • Orotic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase
  • Fatty Acid Synthases