Korean pine nut oil (PNO) has been reported to influence weight gain and lipid metabolism. We examined whether PNO replacement in a high-fat diet (HFD) can ameliorate HFD-induced hepatic steatosis. Five-week-old male C57BL mice were fed control diets containing 10% of the energy from fat from PNO or soybean oil (SBO) (PC, SC) or HFDs with 45% of the energy from fat, with 10% from PNO or SBO and 35% from lard (PHFD, SHFD), for 12 weeks. Body weight gain and amount of white adipose tissue were lower in PHFD (10% and 18% lower, respectively) compared with SHFD. Hepatic triacylglycerol (TG) level was significantly lower in PHFD than the SHFD (26% lower). PNO consumption upregulated hepatic ACADL mRNA levels. The hepatic PPARG mRNA level was lower in the PC than in the SC. Expression of the sirtuin (SIRT) 3 protein in white adipose tissue was down-regulated in the SHFD and restored in the PHFD to the level in the lean control mice. SIRT 3 was reported to be upregulated under conditions of caloric restriction (CR) and plays a role in regulating mitochondrial function. PNO consumption resulted in lower body fat and hepatic TG accumulation in HFD-induced obesity, which seemed to be associated with the CR-mimetic response.
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