Postprint version. Published in Lipids, Volume 47, Issue 12, December 1, 2012, pages 1119-1130.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11745-012-3729-3.
The AIN-76A diet causes fatty liver in rodents when fed for long periods of time. The aimof this study was to utilize fatty acid analysis and transcriptomics to investigate the effects of different fat sources in the AIN-76A diet on tissue lipid profiles and gene expression in male, weanling Fischer-344 rats. Animals were fed isocaloric diets that differed only in the fat source: (1) corn oil (CO) (2) anhydrous milk fat (AMF), and (3) AMF supplemented with 10 % phospholipids from the milk fat globule membrane (AMFMFGM). There were no differences in food intake, body weight, growth rate, or body fat composition among the groups, and the fatty acid compositions of red blood cells (RBC), plasma, muscle, and visceral adipose tissues reflected the dietary fat sources. Modifying the fat source resulted in 293 genes differentially regulated in skeletal muscle, 1,124 in adipose, and 831 in liver as determined by analysis of variance (ANOVA). Although tissue fatty acid profiles mostly reflected the diet, there were several quantitative differences in lipid classes in the liver and plasma. The AMF diet resulted in the highest level of hepatic triacylglycerols, but the lowest level in plasma. The CO diet resulted in significant accumulation of hepatic unesterified fatty acids and decreased DGAT expression and activity, a potential trigger for steatohepatitis. These results indicate that the fatty acid composition and presence of polar lipids in the AIN-76A diets have significant effects on lipid partitioning, gene expression, and potentially the development of liver pathology.