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Serine Prevents Hepatic Oxidative Stress in High-fat Diet-induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Jan 03, 2018     Email"> PrintText Size

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is in association with insulin resistance, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, is considered as the most common chronic liver disease worldwide.

Recent study revealed serine deficiency in patients with NAFLD, indicating that serine supplementation might have beneficial effects in the prevention of NAFLD. Serine is a precursor for the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), which is a major antioxidant in vivo.

This characteristic suggests that serine may prevent NAFLD by alleviating oxidative stress. 

Researchers in the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (ISA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated the effects of serine supplementation on GSH synthesis and oxidative stress in high-fat diet-induced (HFD-induced) mouse model of NAFLD and explored its related mechanisms.

They found that supplementation with 1% serine in the water increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in HFD-treated mice.

In addition, serine supplementation also protected HFD-induced lipid accumulation and oxidative stress. These results were further evidenced by in vitro experiments using primary hepatocytes.

Furthermore, their results elucidated that serine epigenetically modulated the expression of glutathione synthesis-related genes and activated the pathway of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which are critical mechanisms involved.

"Our findings shed new lights on further use of serine in humans in the prevention of NAFLD." said ZHOU Xihong, a researcher in ISA.

The study entitled "Serine prevented high-fat diet-induced oxidative stress by activating AMPK and epigenetically modulating the expression of glutathione synthesis-related genes" was published in BBA Molecular Basis of Disease. 

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China.


(Editor: LI Yuan)


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