Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Alpha Linolenic Acid Improve Cholesterol Homeostasis in Obesity by Modulating Distinct Hepatic Protein Pathways

Type Article

Journal Article


M. E. O'Reilly; Y. M. Lenighan; E. Dillon; S. Kajani; S. Curley; R. Bruen; R. Byrne; A. M. Heslin; A. P. Moloney; H. M. Roche; F. C. McGillicuddy

Year of publication



Mol Nutr Food Res








SCOPE: High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity impairs macrophage-to-feces reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). It is hypothesized that dietary supplementation with the polyunsaturated fatty acids conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or alpha linolenic acid (ALA) would prevent HFD-impaired RCT by modulating hepatic protein pathways. METHODS AND RESULTS: ApoE3L.CETP mice are fed a HFD supplemented ± CLA or ALA for 12 weeks and in vivo macrophage-to-feces RCT is determined. Hepatic cholesterol transporters and the hepatic proteome are assessed by immunoblotting and mass spectrometry, respectively. Mice fed HFD alone, but not ALA-HFD or CLA-HFD, exhibit increased systemic cholesterol levels, increased (3) H-cholesterol levels in plasma and liver but not feces during RCT, and reduced hepatic ABCG5/8 expression relative to LFD. ALA-HFD significantly reduces liver weight, hepatic cholesterol levels, and expression of the cholesterol synthesis enzyme farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase relative to HFD. ALA further increases the expression of acetyl-coA oxidase-associated proteins and suppress PPARα-induced proteins relative to HFD. CLA does not significantly attenuate hepatic lipid levels but is associated with reduced hepatic expression of fatty acid binding protein (FABP)-1/FABP4 levels relative to HFD, and reduced inflammatory pathway activation relative to ALA-HFD. CONCLUSION: ALA and CLA exert distinct mechanistic advantages on cholesterol homeostasis and RCT in obesity.