Acute consumption of a high-fat diet prior to ischemia-reperfusion results in cardioprotection through NF-κB-dependent regulation of autophagic pathways

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2014 Dec 15;307(12):H1705-13. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00271.2014. Epub 2014 Sep 19.


Previous studies have demonstrated improvement of cardiac function occurs with acute consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) after myocardial infarction (MI). However, no data exist addressing the effects of acute HFD upon the extent of injury after MI. This study investigates the hypothesis that short-term HFD, prior to infarction, protects the heart against ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury through NF-κB-dependent regulation of cell death pathways in the heart. Data show that an acute HFD initiates cardioprotection against MI (>50% reduction in infarct size normalized to risk region) after 24 h to 2 wk of HFD, but protection is completely absent after 6 wk of HFD, when mice are reported to develop pathophysiology related to the diet. Furthermore, cardioprotection after 24 h of HFD persists after an additional 24 h of normal chow feeding and was found to be dependent upon NF-κB activation in cardiomyocytes. This study also indicates that short-term HFD activates autophagic processes (beclin-1, LC-3) preischemia, as seen in other protective stimuli. Increases in beclin-1 and LC-3 were found to be NF-κB-dependent, and administration of chloroquine, an inhibitor of autophagy, abrogated cardioprotection. Our results support that acute high-fat feeding mediates cardioprotection against I/R injury associated with a NF-κB-dependent increase in autophagy and reduced apoptosis, as has been found for ischemic preconditioning.

Keywords: NF-κB; autophagy; high fat; ischemia-reperfusion injury; preconditioning.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism
  • Autophagy*
  • Beclin-1
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / diet therapy*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Beclin-1
  • Becn1 protein, mouse
  • MAP1LC3 protein, mouse
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • NF-kappa B