Keap1 knockdown increases markers of metabolic syndrome after long-term high fat diet feeding

Vijay R. More, Jialin Xu, Prajakta C. Shimpi, Clyde Belgrave, James P. Luyendyk, Masayuki Yamamoto, Angela L. Slitt

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) pathway upregulates antioxidant and biotransformation enzyme expression to counter cellular oxidative stress. The contributions of Nrf2 to other cellular functions, such as lipid homeostasis, are emerging. This study was conducted to determine how enhanced Nrf2 activity influences the progression of metabolic syndrome with long-term high-fat diet (HFD) feeding. C57BL/6 and Keap1-knockdown (Keap1-KD) mice, which exhibit enhanced Nrf2 activity, were fed a HFD for 24 weeks. Keap1-KD mice had higher body weight and white adipose tissue mass compared to C57BL/6 mice on HFD, along with increased inflammation and lipogenic gene expression. HFD feeding increased hepatic steatosis and inflammation to a greater extent in Keap1-KD mice compared to C57BL/6 mice, which was associated with increased liver Cd36, fatty acid-binding protein 4, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 mRNA expression, as well as increased acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 and stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 protein expression. The HFD altered short-term glucose homeostasis to a greater degree in Keap-KD mice compared to C57BL/6 mice, which was accompanied by downregulation of insulin receptor substrate 1 mRNA expression in skeletal muscle. Together, the results indicate that Keap1 knockdown, on treatment with HFD, increases certain markers of metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Free radicals
  • Keap1
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Nrf2
  • Steatosis


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