Protein affects gene expression and prevents lipid accumulation in the liver in mice

  • Jessica Schwarz (Creator)
  • Daniel Tome (Creator)
  • Annemarie Baars (Creator)
  • Guido Hooiveld (Creator)
  • Michael Muller (Creator)



Obesity and associated increased prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) disease is suggested to be positively modulated by a high protein (HP) diet in humans and rodents. The aim was to detect mechanisms by which a HP diet prevents hepatic lipid accumulation by means of transcriptomics. To study the acute and long term effect of a high protein ingestion on hepatic lipid accumulation under both low and high fat (HF) conditions, mice were fed combinations of high (35%) or low (10%) fat and high (50%) or normal (15%) protein diets for 1 or 12 weeks. Body composition, liver fat, VLDL production rate and gene expression were investigated. Differences in metabolic processes and functions in the liver were identified using gene set enrichment analysis on microarray data. Mice fed the HP diets developed less adiposity and decreased hepatic lipid accumulation due a combination of induced processes mainly involved in protein catabolism such as transamination, TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Feeding a HP diet can successfully prevent the development of NAFLD by using ingested energy for oxidation instead of storage.
Date made available21 Nov 2012
PublisherWageningen University


  • Mus musculus

Accession numbers

  • GSE37897
  • PRJNA165131

Cite this