Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing in association with the epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Peroxisomes are single membrane-enclosed organelles that play a role in the metabolism of lipid and reactive oxygen species. The present study examined the role of peroxisomes in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD using fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) agonist. Methods: Eight-week-old male C57BL/6J mice were fed either a normal diet or HFD for 12 weeks, and fenofibrate (50 mg/kg/day) was orally administered along with the initiation of HFD. Results: HFD-induced liver injury as measured by increased alanine aminotransferase, inflammation, oxidative stress, and lipid accumulation was effectively prevented by fenofibrate. Fenofibrate significantly increased the expression of peroxisomal genes and proteins involved in peroxisomal biogenesis and function. HFD-induced attenuation of peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation was also significantly restored by fenofibrate, demonstrating the functional significance of peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation. In Ppara deficient mice, fenofibrate failed to maintain peroxisomal biogenesis and function in HFD-induced liver injury. Conclusion: The present data highlight the importance of PPARα-mediated peroxisomal fitness in the protective effect of fenofibrate against NAFLD.
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Peroxisomal disorders
- PPAR alpha