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Molecules 2018, 23(9), 2315; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23092315

Hexanoic, Octanoic and Decanoic Acids Promote Basal and Insulin-Induced Phosphorylation of the Akt-mTOR Axis and a Balanced Lipid Metabolism in the HepG2 Hepatoma Cell Line

Molecular Metabolism of Lipids Laboratory, BioMed Research Center, Biological Sciences Department, University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
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Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds for Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes-II)
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Abstract

Metabolic illnesses such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are in constant increase worldwide. Highly consumed long chain fatty acids (LCFA) are among the most obesogenic and steatogenic nutrients. Hepatic steatosis is associated with several complications such as insulin resistance. Growing evidence points to medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), more efficiently oxidized than LCFA, as a promising dietary alternative against NAFLD. However, reports on the hepatic effects of MCFA are sometimes conflicting. In this study we exposed HepG2 cells, a human hepatocellular model, to 0.25 mM of hexanoic (C6), or octanoic (C8), and decanoic (C10) acids separately or in a C8 + C10 equimolar mix reflecting commercially available MCFA-rich oils. We found that C6, a poorly studied MCFA, as well as C8 and C10 did not provoke the deleterious lipid anabolism runaway typically induced by LCFA palmitate. MCFA tended, instead, to promote a balanced metabolic profile and were generally non-cytotoxic. Accordingly, mitochondrial integrity was mostly preserved following MCFA treatment. However, treatments with C8 induced a mitochondrial membrane potential decrease, suggesting prolonged exposure to this lipid could be problematic. Finally, MCFA treatments maintained optimal insulin sensitivity and even fostered basal and insulin-dependent phosphorylation of the Akt-mTOR pathway. Overall, MCFA could constitute an effective nutritional tool to manage liver steatosis and hepatic insulin resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: medium chain fatty acids (MCFA); long chain fatty acids (LCFA); lipid metabolism; hepatocytes; lipotoxicity; insulin resistance medium chain fatty acids (MCFA); long chain fatty acids (LCFA); lipid metabolism; hepatocytes; lipotoxicity; insulin resistance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rial, S.A.; Ravaut, G.; Malaret, T.B.; Bergeron, K.-F.; Mounier, C. Hexanoic, Octanoic and Decanoic Acids Promote Basal and Insulin-Induced Phosphorylation of the Akt-mTOR Axis and a Balanced Lipid Metabolism in the HepG2 Hepatoma Cell Line. Molecules 2018, 23, 2315.

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