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Open AccessArticle

Suppression of Ghrelin Exacerbates HFCS-Induced Adiposity and Insulin Resistance

Department of Internal Medicine, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China
Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, University of Macau, Macau 999078, China
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Huazhong Science and Technology University, Wuhan 430030, China
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Department of Internal Medicine, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine; Houston, TX 77030, USA
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1302;
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene-Diet Interactions in Chronic Diseases)
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is widely used as sweetener in processed foods and soft drinks in the United States, largely substituting sucrose (SUC). The orexigenic hormone ghrelin promotes obesity and insulin resistance; ghrelin responds differently to HFCS and SUC ingestion. Here we investigated the roles of ghrelin in HFCS- and SUC-induced adiposity and insulin resistance. To mimic soft drinks, 10-week-old male wild-type (WT) and ghrelin knockout (Ghrelin−/−) mice were subjected to ad lib. regular chow diet supplemented with either water (RD), 8% HFCS (HFCS), or 10% sucrose (SUC). We found that SUC-feeding induced more robust increases in body weight and body fat than HFCS-feeding. Comparing to SUC-fed mice, HFCS-fed mice showed lower body weight but higher circulating glucose and insulin levels. Interestingly, we also found that ghrelin deletion exacerbates HFCS-induced adiposity and inflammation in adipose tissues, as well as whole-body insulin resistance. Our findings suggest that HFCS and SUC have differential effects on lipid metabolism: while sucrose promotes obesogenesis, HFCS primarily enhances inflammation and insulin resistance, and ghrelin confers protective effects for these metabolic dysfunctions. View Full-Text
Keywords: ghrelin; HFCS; sucrose; fructose; glucose; adiposity; insulin resistance; adipose tissue inflammation ghrelin; HFCS; sucrose; fructose; glucose; adiposity; insulin resistance; adipose tissue inflammation
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Ma, X.; Lin, L.; Yue, J.; Wu, C.-S.; Guo, C.A.; Wang, R.; Yu, K.-J.; Devaraj, S.; Murano, P.; Chen, Z.; Sun, Y. Suppression of Ghrelin Exacerbates HFCS-Induced Adiposity and Insulin Resistance. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1302.

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