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Livers with constitutive mTORC1 activity resist steatosis independent of feedback suppression of Akt.

PloS one (2015-02-04)
Heidi L Kenerson, Savitha Subramanian, Rebecca McIntyre, Machiko Kazami, Raymond S Yeung
ABSTRACT

Insulin resistance is an important contributing factor in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. AKT and mTORC1 are key components of the insulin pathway, and play a role in promoting de novo lipogenesis. However, mTORC1 hyperactivity per se does not induce steatosis in mouse livers, but instead, protects against high-fat diet induced steatosis. Here, we investigate the in vivo mechanism of steatosis-resistance secondary to mTORC1 activation, with emphasis on the role of S6K1-mediated feedback inhibition of AKT. Mice with single or double deletion of Tsc1 and/or S6k1 in a liver-specific or whole-body manner were generated to study glucose and hepatic lipid metabolism between the ages of 6-14 weeks. Following 8 weeks of high-fat diet, the Tsc1-/-;S6k1-/- mice had lower body weights but higher liver TG levels compared to that of the Tsc1-/- mice. However, the loss of S6k1 did not relieve feedback inhibition of Akt activity in the Tsc1-/- livers. To overcome Akt suppression, Pten was deleted in Tsc1-/- livers, and the resultant mice showed improved glucose tolerance compared with the Tsc1-/- mice. However, liver TG levels were significantly reduced in the Tsc1-/-;Pten-/- mice compared to the Pten-/- mice, which was restored with rapamycin. We found no correlation between liver TG and serum NEFA levels. Expression of lipogenic genes (Srebp1c, Fasn) were elevated in the Tsc1-/-;Pten-/- livers, but this was counter-balanced by an up-regulation of Cpt1a involved in fatty acid oxidation and the anti-oxidant protein, Nrf2. In summary, our in vivo models showed that mTORC1-induced resistance to steatosis was dependent on S6K1 activity, but not secondary to AKT suppression. These findings confirm that AKT and mTORC1 have opposing effects on hepatic lipid metabolism in vivo.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Bicinchoninic acid disodium salt hydrate, ≥98% (HPLC)
Sigma-Aldrich
Rapamycin, Ready Made Solution, 2.5 mg/mL in DMSO (2.74 mM), from Streptomyces hygroscopicus
Supelco
Rapamycin, VETRANAL®, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
Hematoxylin, certified by the Biological Stain Commission
Supelco
Hematoxylin