The brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has been recently involved in the homeostatic regulation of energy. Our goal was to analyse the influence of a diet rich in saturated fatty acids (butter) against one enriched in monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil) on hypothalamic RAS, and their relationship with the metabolism of fatty acids. Increases in body weight and visceral fat, together with an increase in aminopeptidase A expression and reductions in AngII and AngIV were observed in the hypothalamus of animals fed with the butter diet. In this group, a marked reduction in the expression of genes related to lipid metabolism (LPL, CD36, and CPT-1) was observed in liver and muscle. No changes were found in terms of body weight, total visceral fat and the expression of hepatic genes related to fatty acid metabolism in the olive oil diet. The expressions of LPL and CD36 were reduced in the muscles, although the decrease was lower than in the butter diet. At the same time, the fasting levels of leptin were reduced, no changes were observed in the hypothalamic expression of aminopeptidase A and decreases were noted in the levels of AngII, AngIV and AngIII. These results support that the type of dietary fat is able to modify the hypothalamic profile of RAS and the body energy balance, related to changes in lipid metabolism.
Keywords: brain renin–angiotensin system; energy balance; fatty acid metabolism; virgin olive oil.