Hepatic steatosis is highly correlated with insulin resistance and diabetes. Although, it has been demonstrated that activation of free fatty acid receptor 1 (FFAR1) by agonists showed benefits for the improvement of diabetes, the effects of FFAR1 agonists on hepatic steatosis were unknown. In this study, a high fat diet (HFD)-induced hepatic steatosis animal model was utilized to evaluate the effects of an FFAR1 agonist, GW9508, on hepatic lipid accumulation, and HepG2 hepatoma cells were also used to clarify the possible mechanisms. Administration of GW9508 significantly decreased the hepatic lipid accumulation with decreased expressions of lipogenesis-related proteins in HFD mice. Knockdown of hepatic Ffar1 by lentiviral vectors containing short hairpin RNA targeted to Ffar1 diminished the effect of GW9508 in HFD mice. In addition, GW9508 decreased oleic acid-induced lipid accumulation in HepG2 cells by decreases in the expression of lipogenesis-related proteins. Moreover, GW9508 downregulated the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1) through a p38-dependent pathway, whereas knockdown of Ffar1 in HepG2 cells diminished the effect of GW9508 on the decrease in SREBP1. Considering all these results together, GW9508 exerts a therapeutic effect to improve hepatic steatosis through a p38-dependent pathway. Thus, investigation of chemicals that act on FFAR1 might be a new strategy for the treatment of hepatic steatosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology