Fatty acids derived from adipose tissue are oxidized by β-oxidation to form ketone bodies as final products under the starving condition. Previously, we found that free acetic acid was formed concomitantly with the production of ketone bodies in isolated rat liver perfusion, and mitochondrial acetyl CoA hydrolase was appeared to be involved with the acetic acid production. It was revealed that acetic acid was formed as a final product of enhanced β-oxidation of fatty acids and utilized as a fuel in extrahepatic tissues under the starving condition. Under the fed condition, β-oxidation is suppressed and acetic acid production is decreased. When acetic acid was taken daily by obesity-linked type 2 diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats under the fed condition, it protected OLETF rats against obesity. Furthermore, acetic acid contributed to protect from the accumulation of lipid in the liver as well as abdominal fat in OLETF rats. Transcripts of lipogenic genes in the liver were decreased, while transcripts of myoglobin and Glut4 genes in abdominal muscles were increased in the acetic acid-administered OLETF rats. It is indicated that exogenously administered acetic acid would have effects on lipid metabolism in both the liver and the skeletal muscles, and have function that works against obesity and obesity-linked type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: AMPK; Acetic acid; lipid metabolism; obesity; type 2 diabetes.