Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has a positive correlation with obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). The aerobic training is an important tool in combating NAFLD. However, no studies have demonstrated the molecular effects of short-term strength training on the accumulation of hepatic fat in obese mice. This study aimed to investigate the effects of short-term strength training on the mechanisms of oxidation and lipid synthesis in the liver of obese mice. The short duration protocol was used to avoid changing the amount of adipose tissue. Swiss mice were separated into three groups: lean control (CTL), sedentary obese (OB) and strength training obese (STO). The obese groups were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and the STO group performed the strength training protocol 1 session/day for 15 days. The short-term strength training reduced hepatic fat accumulation, increasing hepatic insulin sensitivity and controlling hepatic glucose production. The obese animals increased the mRNA of lipogenic genes Fasn and Scd1 and reduced the oxidative genes Cpt1a and Ppara. On the other hand, the STO group presented the opposite results. Finally, the obese animals presented higher levels of lipogenic proteins (ACC and FAS) and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β), but the short-term strength training was efficient in reducing this condition, regardless of body weight loss. In conclusion, there was a reduction of obesity-related hepatic lipogenesis and inflammation after short-term strength training, independent of weight loss, leading to improvements in hepatic insulin sensitivity and glycemic homeostasis in obese mice. Key points: (1) Short-term strength training (STST) reduced fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver; (2) Hepatic insulin sensitivity and HPG control were increased with STST; (3) The content and activity of ACC and content of FAS were reduced with STST; (4) STST improved hepatic fat accumulation and glycemic homeostasis; (5) STST effects were observed independently of body weight change.
Keywords: NAFLD; T2D; insulin sensitivity; liver; obesity; strength training.