Plasma acylcarnitine profiling indicates increased fatty acid oxidation relative to tricarboxylic acid cycle capacity in young, healthy low birth weight men

Amalie Ribel-Madsen, Rasmus Ribel-Madsen, Charlotte Brøns, Christopher B. Newgard, Allan A. Vaag, Lars Hellgren

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    Abstract

    We hypothesized that an increased, incomplete fatty acid beta‐oxidation in mitochondria could be part of the metabolic events leading to insulin resistance and thereby an increased type 2 diabetes risk in low birth weight (LBW) compared with normal birth weight (NBW) individuals. Therefore, we measured fasting plasma levels of 45 acylcarnitine species in 18 LBW and 25 NBW men after an isocaloric control diet and a 5‐day high‐fat, high‐calorie diet. We demonstrated that LBW men had higher C2 and C4‐OH levels after the control diet compared with NBW men, indicating an increased fatty acid beta‐oxidation relative to the tricarboxylic acid cycle flux. Also, they had higher C6‐DC, C10‐OH/C8‐DC, and total hydroxyl‐/dicarboxyl‐acylcarnitine levels, which may suggest an increased fatty acid omega‐oxidation in the liver. Furthermore, LBW and NBW men decreased several acylcarnitine levels in response to overfeeding, which is likely a result of an upregulation of fatty acid oxidation due to the dietary challenge. Moreover, C10‐OH/C8‐DC and total hydroxyl‐/dicarboxyl‐acylcarnitine levels tended to be negatively associated with the serum insulin level, and the total hydroxyl‐/dicarboxyl‐acylcarnitine level additionally tended to be negatively associated with the hepatic insulin resistance index. This indicates that an increased fatty acid omega‐oxidation could be a compensatory mechanism to prevent an accumulation of lipid species that impair insulin signaling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere12977
    JournalPhysiological Reports
    Volume4
    Issue number19
    Number of pages18
    ISSN2051-817X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

    Keywords

    • Acylcarnitines
    • High-fat overfeeding
    • Low birth weight
    • Type 2 diabetes

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