BACKGROUND: Here, we evaluated the relationship of diet and F-induced oxidative stress to lipid metabolism in the liver of rats eating normocaloric or hypercaloric diets for two time periods (20 or 60 days).
METHODS: Seventy-two 21-day-old Wistar rats were divided into 2 groups (n = 36) based on the type of diet they were eating; each of these groups was then further divided into another two groups (n = 18) based on the time periods of either 20 or 60 days, for a total of four groups. Each of these was divided into 3 subgroups (n = 6 animals/subgroup), dependent on the dose of F administered in the drinking water (0 mg/L(control), 15 mg/L or 50 mg/L). After the experimental period, blood samples and the liver were collected. Plasma samples were analyzed for HDL, cholesterol and triglycerides. Western blots were performed to probe for GRP78, Erp29, SOD2, Apo-E and SREBP in hepatic tissues.
RESULTS: As expected,the expression of target proteins involved in oxidative stress increased in the F-treated groups, especially in liver tissue obtained from animals eating a hypercaloric diet. Most changes in the lipid levels and pathological conditions were seen earlier in the time period, at day 20. The morphometric analyses showed a reduction in steatosis in groups on ahypercaloric diet and treated with 50 mg F/L compared to the control, while no changes were obtained in normocaloric-fed rats. Accordingly, plasma TG was reduced in the F-treated group. The reduced expression of Apo-E in a time- and diet-dependent pattern may account for the particular decrease in steatosis in hypercaloric-fed F-treated rats.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that F changes liver lipid homeostasis, possibly because of the induction of oxidative stress, which seems to be higher in animals fed hypercaloric diets.s