Cardiac expression of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein is increased in obesity and serves to attenuate cardiac triglyceride accumulation

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  • Emil D Bartels, Denmark
  • Jan M Nielsen, Denmark
  • Lars I Hellgren, Denmark
  • Thorkil Ploug, Denmark
  • Lars B Nielsen, Denmark
  • The Department of Cardiological Medicine B
Obesity causes lipid accumulation in the heart and may lead to lipotoxic heart disease. Traditionally, the size of the cardiac triglyceride pool is thought to reflect the balance between uptake and beta-oxidation of fatty acids. However, triglycerides can also be exported from cardiomyocytes via secretion of apolipoproteinB-containing (apoB) lipoproteins. Lipoprotein formation depends on expression of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP); the mouse expresses two isoforms of MTP, A and B. Since many aspects of the link between obesity-induced cardiac disease and cardiac lipid metabolism remain unknown, we investigated how cardiac lipoprotein synthesis affects cardiac expression of triglyceride metabolism-controlling genes, insulin sensitivity, and function in obese mice. Heart-specific ablation of MTP-A in mice using Cre-loxP technology impaired upregulation of MTP expression in response to increased fatty acid availability during fasting and fat feeding. This resulted in cardiac triglyceride accumulation but unaffected cardiac insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Long-term fat-feeding of male C57Bl/6 mice increased cardiac triglycerides, induced cardiac expression of triglyceride metabolism-controlling genes and attenuated heart function. Abolishing cardiac triglyceride accumulation in fat-fed mice by overexpression of an apoB transgene in the heart prevented the induction of triglyceride metabolism-controlling genes and improved heart function. The results suggest that in obesity, the physiological increase of cardiac MTP expression serves to attenuate cardiac triglyceride accumulation albeit without major effects on cardiac insulin sensitivity. Nevertheless, the data suggest that genetically increased lipoprotein secretion prevents development of obesity-induced lipotoxic heart disease.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume4
Issue4
Pages (from-to)e5300
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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