Detailed transcriptomics analysis of the effect of dietary fatty acids on gene expression in the heart

A. Georgiadi, M.V. Boekschoten, M.R. Muller, A.H. Kersten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Fatty acids comprise the primary energy source for the heart and are mainly taken up via hydrolysis of circulating triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. While most of the fatty acids entering the cardiomyocyte are oxidized, a small portion is involved in altering gene transcription to modulate cardiometabolic functions. So far, no in vivo model has been developed enabling study of the transcriptional effects of specific fatty acids in the intact heart. In the present study, mice were given a single oral dose of synthetic triglycerides composed of one single fatty acid. Hearts were collected 6 h thereafter and used for whole genome gene expression profiling. Experiments were conducted in wild-type and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)a-/- mice to allow exploration of the specific contribution of PPARa. It was found that: 1) C18:3 had the most pronounced effect on cardiac gene expression. 2) The largest similarity in gene regulation was observed between C18:2 and C18:3. Large similarity was also observed between PPARa agonist Wy14643 and C22:6. 3) Many genes were regulated by one particular treatment only. Genes regulated by one particular treatment showed large functional divergence. 4) The majority of genes responding to fatty acid treatment were regulated in a PPARa-dependent manner, emphasizing the importance of PPARa in mediating transcriptional regulation by fatty acids in the heart. 5) Several genes were robustly regulated by all or many of the fatty acids studied, mostly representing well-described targets of PPARs (e.g., Acot1, Angptl4, Ucp3) but also including Zbtb16/PLZF, a transcription factor crucial for natural killer T cell function. 6) Deletion and activation of PPARa had a major effect on expression of numerous genes involved in metabolism and immunity. Our analysis demonstrates the marked impact of dietary fatty acids on gene regulation in the heart via PPARa
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-361
JournalPhysiological genomics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • proliferator-activated receptors
  • ppar-alpha
  • heme oxygenase-1
  • lipoprotein-lipase
  • cardiac myocytes
  • lipid-metabolism
  • transgenic mice
  • rat-heart
  • triglycerides
  • eicosanoids

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