Publication Date



The Journal of Nutrition


BACKGROUND: High dietary fat and sugar promote cardiac hypertrophy independently from an increase in blood pressure. The respective contribution that each macronutrient exerts on cardiac growth signaling pathways remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to investigate the mechanisms by which high amounts of dietary fat and sugar affect cardiac growth regulatory pathways.

METHODS: Male C57BL/6 mice (9 wk old; n = 20/group) were fed a standard rodent diet (STD; kcal% protein-fat-carbohydrate, 29-17-54), a high-fat diet (HFD; 20-60-20), a high-fat and high-sugar Western diet (WD; 20-45-35), a high-sugar diet with mixed carbohydrates (HCD; 20-10-70), or a high-sucrose diet (HSD; 20-10-70). Body composition was assessed weekly by EchoMRI. Whole-body glucose utilization was assessed with an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. After 6 wk on diets, mice were treated with saline or 20 mg/kg isoproterenol (ISO), and the activity of cardiac growth regulatory pathways was analyzed by immunoblotting. Data were analyzed by ANOVA with data from the STD group included for references only.

RESULTS: Compared with HCD and HSD, WD and HFD increased body fat mass 2.7- to 3.8-fold (P < 0.001), induced glucose intolerance (P < 0.001), and increased insulin concentrations >1.5-fold (P < 0.05), thereby enhancing basal and ISO-stimulated AKT phosphorylation at both threonine 308 and serine 473 residues (+25-63%; P < 0.05). Compared with HFD, the high-sugar diets potentiated ISO-mediated stimulation of the glucose-sensitive kinases PYK2 (>47%; P < 0.05 for HCD and HSD) and ERK (>34%; P < 0.05 for WD, HCD, and HSD), thereby leading to increased phosphorylation of protein synthesis regulator S6K1 at threonine 389 residue (>64%; P < 0.05 for WD, HCD, and HSD).

CONCLUSIONS: Dietary fat and sugar affect cardiac growth signaling pathways in C57BL/6 mice through distinct and additive mechanisms. The findings may provide new insights into the role of overnutrition in pathological cardiac remodeling.


Animals, Blood Glucose, Dietary Fats, Dietary Sugars, Energy Intake, Gene Expression Regulation, Insulin, Regular, Human, Lipids, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt



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