High density lipoproteins improve insulin sensitivity in high-fat diet-fed mice by suppressing hepatic inflammation

Kristine C. McGrath, Xiao Hong Li, Phillippa T. Whitworth, Robert Kasz, Joanne T. Tan, Susan V. McLennan, David S. Celermajer, Philip J. Barter, Kerry Anne Rye, Alison K. Heather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity-induced liver inflammation can drive insulin resistance. HDL has anti-inflammatory properties, so we hypothesized that low levels of HDL would perpetuate inflammatory responses in the liver and that HDL treatment would suppress liver inflammation and insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lipid-free apoAI on hepatic inflammation and insulin resistance in mice. We also investigated apoAI as a component of reconstituted HDLs (rHDLs) in hepatocytes to confirm results we observed in vivo. To test our hypothesis, C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 16 weeks and administered either saline or lipid-free apoAI. Injections of lipid-free apoAI twice a week for 2 or 4 weeks with lipid-free apoAI resulted in: i) improved insulin sensitivity associated with decreased systemic and hepatic inflammation; ii) suppression of hepatic mRNA expression for key transcriptional regulators of lipogenic gene expression; and iii) suppression of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation. Human hepatoma HuH-7 cells exposed to rHDLs showed suppressed TNFα-induced NF-κB activation, correlating with decreased NF-κB target gene expression. We conclude that apoAI suppresses liver inflammation in HFD mice and improves insulin resistance via a mechanism that involves a downregulation of NF-κB activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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