Aims Fructose may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, the pathogenic mechanism of the fructose-induced MetS has not yet been investigated fully. Recently, several reports have investigated the association between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and MetS. We examined the effect of fructose-rich diets on mtDNA content, transcription, and epigenetic changes. Main methods Four-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were offered a 20% fructose solution for 14 weeks. We quantified mRNAs for hepatic mitochondrial genes and analyzed the mtDNA methylation (5-mC and 5-hmC) levels using ELISA kits. Key findings Histological analysis revealed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in fructose-fed rats. Hepatic mtDNA content and transcription were higher in fructose-fed rats than in the control group. Global hypomethylation of mtDNA was also observed in fructose-fed rats. Significance We showed that fructose consumption stimulates hepatic mtDNA-encoded gene expression. This phenomenon might be due to epigenetic changes in mtDNA. Fructose-induced mitochondrial epigenetic changes appear to be a novel mechanism underlying the pathology of MetS and NAFLD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)