Objective: NONcNZO10 (NZ10) mice are predisposed to obesity and develop type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hepatic steatosis even when maintained on a control diet (CD) of 6% fat. Studies were designed to determine whether this extreme susceptibility phenotype could be alleviated by diet and if so the molecular targets of diet.
Methods: NZ10 and SWR/J (SWR) control mice were fed a CD or a test diet of high protein and fish oil (HPO) for 19 weeks and then analyzed for steatosis, blood chemistry, hepatic gene and micro-RNA expression.
Results: HPO diet prevented steatosis, significantly increased serum adiponectin and reduced serum cholesterol and triglycerides only in NZ10 mice. The HPO diet repressed hepatic expression of fatty acid metabolic regulators including PPAR-γ, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-c1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator-1, fatty acid synthase, fatty acid binding protein-4, and apolipoprotein A4 genes only in NZ10 mice. Also repressed by a HPO diet were adiponectinR2 receptor, leptin-R, PPAR-α, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoforms 2 and 4, AKT2 and GSK3β. Micro-RNA (miR) arrays identified miRs that were diet and/or genetics regulated. QRTPCR confirmed increased expression of miR-205 and suppression of a series of miRs including miRs-411, 155, 335 and 21 in the NZ10-HPO group, each of which are implicated in the progression of diabetes and/or steatosis. Evidence is presented that miR-205 co-regulates with PPARγ and may regulate fibrosis and EMT during the progression of steatosis in the livers of NZ10-CD mice. The dietary responses of miR-205 are tissue-specific with opposite effects in adipose and liver.
Conclusion: The results confirm that a HPO diet overrides the genetic susceptibility of NZ10 mice and this correlates with the suppression of key genes and perhaps micro-RNAs involved in hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and inflammation including master PPAR regulators, adiponectin and leptin receptors.
Keywords: NAFLD; NoNcNZO10; diet; microRNA; obesity; steatosis; type 2 diabetes.