Dietary fat may modulate adipose tissue homeostasis through the processes of autophagy and apoptosis

Type Article

Journal Article


A. Camargo; O. A. Rangel-Zúñiga; J. Alcalá-Díaz; F. Gomez-Delgado; J. Delgado-Lista; S. García-Carpintero; C. Marín; Y. Almadén; E. M. Yubero-Serrano; J. López-Moreno; F. J. Tinahones; P. Pérez-Martínez; H. M. Roche; J. López-Miranda

Year of publication



Eur J Nutr








PURPOSE: Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cancer development. Autophagy and apoptosis are critical processes for development and homeostasis in multicellular organisms and have been linked to a variety of disorders. We aimed to investigate whether the quantity and quality of dietary fat can influence these processes in the adipose tissue of obese people. METHODS: A randomized, controlled trial within the LIPGENE study assigned 39 obese people with metabolic syndrome to 1 of 4 diets: (a) a high-saturated fatty acid diet, (b) a high-monounsaturated fatty acid (HMUFA) diet, and (c, d) two low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diets supplemented with long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LFHCC n-3) or placebo (LFHCC), for 12 weeks each. RESULTS: We found an increase in the expression of autophagy-related BECN1 and ATG7 genes after the long-term consumption of the HMUFA diet (p = 0.001 and p = 0.004, respectively) and an increase in the expression of the apoptosis-related CASP3 gene after the long-term consumption of the LFHCC and LFHCC n-3 diets (p = 0.001 and p = 0.029, respectively). CASP3 and CASP7 gene expression changes correlated with HOMA index. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the processes of autophagy and apoptosis in adipose tissue may be modified by diet and that the consumption of a diet rich in monounsaturated fat may contribute to adipose tissue homeostasis by increasing autophagy. They also reinforce the notion that apoptosis in adipose tissue is linked to insulin resistance. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT00429195.