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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Induction of hepatic ABC transporter expression is part of the PPARalpha-mediated fasting response in the mouse.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Fatty acids are natural ligands of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha). Synthetic ligands of this nuclear receptor, i.e., fibrates, induce the hepatic expression of the multidrug resistance 2 gene (Mdr2), encoding the canalicular phospholipid translocator, and affect hepatobiliary lipid transport. We tested whether fasting-associated fatty acid release from adipose tissues alters hepatic transporter expression and bile formation in a PPARalpha-dependent manner. METHODS: A 24-hour fasting/48-hour refeeding schedule was used in wild-type and Pparalpha((-/-)) mice. Expression of genes involved in the control of bile formation was determined and related to secretion rates of biliary components. RESULTS: Expression of Pparalpha, farnesoid X receptor, and liver X receptor alpha genes encoding nuclear receptors that control hepatic bile salt and sterol metabolism was induced on fasting in wild-type mice only. The expression of Mdr2 was 5-fold increased in fasted wild-type mice and increased only marginally in Pparalpha((-/-)) mice, and it normalized on refeeding. Mdr2 protein levels and maximal biliary phospholipid secretion rates were clearly increased in fasted wild-type mice. Hepatic expression of the liver X receptor target genes ATP binding cassette transporter a1 (Abca1), Abcg5, and Abcg8, implicated in hepatobiliary cholesterol transport, was induced in fasted wild-type mice only. However, the maximal biliary cholesterol secretion rate was reduced by approximately 50%. CONCLUSIONS: Induction of Mdr2 expression and function is part of the PPARalpha-mediated fasting response in mice. Fasting also induces expression of the putative hepatobiliary cholesterol transport genes Abca1, Abcg5, and Abcg8, but, nonetheless, maximal biliary cholesterol excretion is decreased after fasting.[1]


  1. Induction of hepatic ABC transporter expression is part of the PPARalpha-mediated fasting response in the mouse. Kok, T., Wolters, H., Bloks, V.W., Havinga, R., Jansen, P.L., Staels, B., Kuipers, F. Gastroenterology (2003) [Pubmed]
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