3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid (CMPF) prevents high fat diet-induced insulin resistance via maintenance of hepatic lipid homeostasis

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2019 Jan;21(1):61-72. doi: 10.1111/dom.13483. Epub 2018 Sep 6.


Aim: Omega-3 fatty acid ethyl ester supplements, available by prescription, are common in the treatment of dyslipidaemia in humans. Recent studies show that 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid (CMPF), a metabolite formed from fish oil supplementation, was able to prevent and reverse high fat diet (HFD)-induced fatty liver in mice. In the present study, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for CMPF's hepatic lipid-lowering effects.

Materials and methods: CD1 male mice were i.p. injected with CMPF (dosage, 6 mg/kg) for 7 days, followed by 5 weeks of a 60% HFD to induce a fatty liver phenotype. Metabolic parameters, liver morphology, lipid content, protein expression and microarray analysis were assessed. We also utilized primary hepatocytes, an in vitro model, to further investigate the direct effects of CMPF on hepatic lipid utilization and biosynthesis.

Results: CMPF-treated mice display enhanced hepatic lipid clearance while hepatic lipid storage is prevented, thereby protecting against liver lipid accumulation and development of HFD-induced hepatic insulin resistance. Mechanistically, as CMPF enters the liver, it acts as an allosteric acetyl-coA carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor, which directly induces both fatty acid oxidation and hepatic production of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). A feed-back loop is initiated by CMPF, which exists between ACC inhibition, fatty acid oxidation and production of FGF21. As a consequence, an adaptive decrease in Insig2/SREBP-1c/FAS protein expression results in priming of the liver to prevent a HFD-induced fatty liver phenotype.

Conclusion: CMPF is a potential driver of hepatic lipid metabolism, preventing diet-induced hepatic lipid deposition and insulin resistance in the long term.

Keywords: CMPF; FGF21; fatty acid oxidation; fatty liver; lipid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Furans / pharmacology*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Liver* / chemistry
  • Liver* / drug effects
  • Liver* / metabolism
  • Liver* / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Propionates / pharmacology*


  • 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid
  • Blood Glucose
  • Furans
  • Propionates
  • fibroblast growth factor 21
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors