Effects of dairy consumption on SIRT1 and mitochondrial biogenesis in adipocytes and muscle cells

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Dec 20:8:91. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-91.


Background: Recent data from this laboratory suggest that components of dairy foods may serve as activators of SIRT1 (Silent Information Regulator Transcript 1), and thereby participate in regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. In this study, an ex-vivo/in-vitro approach was used to examine the integrated effects of dairy diets on SIRT1 activation in two key target tissues (adipose and muscle tissue).

Methods: Serum from overweight and obese subjects fed low or high dairy diets for 28 days was added to culture medium (similar to conditioned media) to treat cultured adipocytes and muscle cells for 48 hours.

Results: Treatment with high dairy group conditioned media resulted in 40% increased SIRT1 gene expression in both tissues (p < 0.01) and 13% increased enzyme activity in adipose tissue compared to baseline. This was associated with increased gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1), cytochrome oxidase c subunit 7 (Cox 7), NADH dehydrogenase and uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in adipocytes as well as uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3), NRF1 and Cox 7 in muscle cells (p < 0.05). Further, direct incubation of physiological concentrations of leucine and its metabolites α-Ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) and β-hydroxy-methylbuteric acid (HMB) with recombinant human SIRT1 enzyme resulted in 30 to 50% increase of SIRT1 activity (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: These data indicate that dairy consumption leads to systemic effects, which may promote mitochondrial biogenesis in key target tissues such as muscle and adipose tissue both by direct activation of SIRT1 as well as by SIRT1-independent pathways.