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Nutrients 2017, 9(8), 805; doi:10.3390/nu9080805

Hemin Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Lipid Metabolism in Cultured Hepatocytes and Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet

1
Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Sciences, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai 200031, China
2
School of Life Science and Technology, Shanghai Tech University, Shanghai 200093, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
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Abstract

Hemin is a breakdown product of hemoglobin. It has been reported that the injection of hemin improves lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in various genetic models. However, the effect of hemin supplementation in food on lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity is still unclear, and whether hemin directly affects cellular insulin sensitivity is yet to be elucidated. Here we show that hemin enhances insulin-induced phosphorylation of insulin receptors, Akt, Gsk3β, FoxO1 and cytoplasmic translocation of FoxO1 in cultured primary hepatocytes under insulin-resistant conditions. Furthermore, hemin diminishes the accumulation of triglyceride and increases in free fatty acid content in primary hepatocytes induced by palmitate. Oral administration of hemin decreases body weight, energy intake, blood glucose and triglyceride levels, and improves insulin and glucose tolerance as well as hepatic insulin signaling and hepatic steatosis in male mice fed a high-fat diet. In addition, hemin treatment decreases the mRNA and protein levels of some hepatic genes involved in lipogenic regulation, fatty acid synthesis and storage, and increases the mRNA level and enzyme activity of CPT1 involved in fatty acid oxidation. These data demonstrate that hemin can improve lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in both cultured hepatocytes and mice fed a high-fat diet, and show the potential beneficial effects of hemin from food on lipid and glucose metabolism. View Full-Text
Keywords: hemin; insulin resistance; lipid metabolism; hepatic steatosis hemin; insulin resistance; lipid metabolism; hepatic steatosis
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Luan, Y.; Zhang, F.; Cheng, Y.; Liu, J.; Huang, R.; Yan, M.; Wang, Y.; He, Z.; Lai, H.; Wang, H.; Ying, H.; Guo, F.; Zhai, Q. Hemin Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Lipid Metabolism in Cultured Hepatocytes and Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Nutrients 2017, 9, 805.

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