Dim light at night (dLAN) is associated with metabolic risk but the specific effects on lipid metabolism have only been evaluated to a limited extent. Therefore, to explore whether dLAN can compromise lipid metabolic homeostasis in healthy individuals, we exposed Wistar rats to dLAN (~2 lx) for 2 and 5 weeks and analyzed the main lipogenic pathways in the liver and epididymal fat pad, including the control mechanisms at the hormonal and molecular level. We found that dLAN promoted hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation, upregulated hepatic genes involved in de novo synthesis of fatty acids, and elevated glucose and fatty acid uptake. These observations were paralleled with suppressed fatty acid synthesis in the adipose tissue and altered plasma adipokine levels, indicating disturbed adipocyte metabolic function with a potential negative impact on liver metabolism. Moreover, dLAN-exposed rats displayed an elevated expression of two peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor family members (Pparα
) in the liver and adipose tissue, suggesting the deregulation of important metabolic transcription factors. Together, our results demonstrate that an impaired balance of lipid biosynthetic pathways caused by dLAN can increase lipid storage in the liver, thereby accounting for a potential linking mechanism between dLAN and metabolic diseases.
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