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Dietary Nucleotides Alleviate Hepatic Lipid Deposition via Exogenous AMP-Mediated AMPK Activation in Zebrafish

Ran C, Xie M, Li J, Xie Y, Ding Q, Li Y, Zhou W, Yang Y, Zhang Z, Olsen RE, Zhou Z
J Nutr. 2021;nxab232 {Epub]
Background: Dietary nucleotides (NTs) have been reported to affect hepatic function and composition. However, the effects on hepatic lipid deposition are less studied. Objectives: We aimed to identify the regulatory role of dietary NTs in hepatic lipid deposition of zebrafish and elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Zebrafish (60 ± 1.69 mg; 1 mo old) were fed control diet (16.2% energy as fat) or diet supplemented with 0.1% NTs or 0.02% AMP in feeding experiments 1 and 2. Experiment 3 was conducted with zebrafish larvae. In experiment 4, 1-mo-old zebrafish were fed a high-fat diet (HFD, 38.2% energy as fat) or an HFD supplemented with 0.1% NTs or 0.02% AMP. Hepatic lipid deposition was evaluated by triglyceride (TG) content and staining. Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) was assayed by immunoblotting. Zebrafish liver (ZFL) cells were treated with exogenous adenosine. Small interfering RNA was used to knock down AMPK or nucleoside transporter SLC28a1 in ZFL cells. Vivo-morpholino was used to knock down AMPK in zebrafish larvae. Results: Dietary 0.1% NTs or 0.02% AMP reduced hepatic TGs by 62% and 32%, respectively, compared with control (P < 0.05). Dietary AMP enhanced hepatic AMPK and ACC phosphorylation. Consistently, exogenous adenosine enhanced AMPK and ACC phosphorylation by 111% and 53%, respectively, in ZFL cells (P < 0.01) and reduced TG content by 56% (P < 0.05). Knockdown of AMPK and SLC28a1 abolished the effect of adenosine on lipid deposition in ZFL cells, and AMPK morpholino blocked the hepatic lipid-lowering effect of dietary AMP in vivo. Finally, dietary NTs and AMP activated AMPK and attenuated hepatic lipid deposition (28% and 30%, P < 0.05) in fish fed an HFD. Conclusions: Dietary NTs and AMP reduce hepatic lipid deposition in zebrafish, which involves exogenous AMP-mediated AMPK activation. Our results suggest that dietary NTs can contribute to alleviation of hepatic steatosis.
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