Regulation of de novo hepatic lipogenesis by insulin infusion in rainbow trout fed a high-carbohydrate diet

J Anim Sci. 2011 Oct;89(10):3079-88. doi: 10.2527/jas.2010-3733. Epub 2011 May 13.


Carbohydrate energy intake in excess of total energy expenditure is converted to fat. In fish, the liver is considered to be the main lipogenic tissue. Its regulation by insulin is not fully understood, and some of the available in vivo findings are contradictory. In this study, bovine insulin was infused for 5 d into rainbow trout fed a high-carbohydrate diet, and variables of de novo hepatic lipogenesis were measured. We found that hepatic lipogenesis in trout is stimulated by insulin, reflected in enhanced mRNA and protein abundance and enzyme activity of ATP-citrate lyase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, and fatty acid synthase. These results were further supported by parallel changes in enzymes acting as NAD phosphate donors, especially those participating in the pentose phosphate pathway. This is the first time that the main enzymes involved in de novo hepatic lipogenesis have been studied at the molecular, protein, and activity levels in fish. We hypothesize that some of the delayed changes found in the different levels of regulation were probably related to the insulin resistance achieved by the trout liver after 5 d of insulin infusion. We assessed enzyme activity and mRNA abundance of lipid oxidation-related enzymes in the livers of insulin-infused fish in which paradoxically increased β-oxidation potential was found. The insulin-stimulated de novo hepatic lipogenesis in carbohydrate-fed trout reinforces the hypothesis that this pathway may act as an important sink for excess glucose, which could ultimately contribute to improved glucose homeostasis in this carnivorous and glucose-intolerant species when fed high-carbohydrate diets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Lipogenesis / physiology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / physiology*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin