Dietary sesamin and docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids synergistically increase the gene expression of enzymes involved in hepatic peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation in rats
The interaction of sesamin, one of the most abundant lignans in sesame seed, and highly purified docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in the form of ethyl ester in affecting hepatic fatty acid oxidation was examined in rats. In the first experiment, 3 groups of rats were fed with purified experimental diets free of n-3 fatty acid ethyl ester and containing 0%, 0.2%, and 0.4% sesamin (1:1 mixture of sesamin and episesamin), and 2 groups of animals were fed with a 2% DHA ethyl ester diet containing either 0% or 0.2% sesamin. In the second trial, 4 groups of rats were fed with either a 0% or a 2% EPA ethyl ester diet containing 0% or 0.2% sesamin. After 15 days of feeding, DHA and EPA ethyl esters added to a sesamin-free diet little affected the activity and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of various enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation. Sesamin increased the activity levels of various hepatic enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation irrespective of the presence or absence of n-3 fatty acid ethyl ester in diets. However, the diet containing sesamin and DHA or EPA ethyl ester in combination increased many of these parameters synergistically. In particular, the peroxisomal palmitoyl-coenzyme A oxidation rate and acyl-coenzyme A oxidase activity level were much higher in rats fed with sesamin and DHA or EPA in combination than in animals fed with a diet free of n-3 fatty acid ethyl ester and containing sesamin. Analyses of mRNA levels revealed that a diet simultaneously containing sesamin and n-3 fatty acid ethyl ester increased the gene expression of various enzymes involved in peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation in a synergistic manner. However, the combination of sesamin and n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters was ineffective in causing a synergistic increase in mRNA levels of enzymes of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, microsomal cytochrome P-450 IV A1, and cytosolic liver-type fatty acid-binding protein. It was concluded that sesamin and DHA or EPA ethyl ester synergistically increased hepatic fatty acid oxidation primarily through up-regulation of the gene expression of peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation enzymes. The results essentially reproduced those observed in our previous study with a diet containing both fish oil and sesamin despite the fact that DHA and EPA ethyl esters were much less effective than fish oil in increasing hepatic fatty acid oxidation.
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