Summary: The aim of our study was to establish whether the positive Ole-related effects on liver steatosis could be associated with autophagy. Female and male C57BL/6J mice were fed normal diet (ND) or high-fat diet (HFD) for eight weeks, and Ole was added or not for the following eight weeks. The autophagy-related proteins Akt, mTOR, AMPK, ULK1, Beclin-1, LC3B and p62/Sqstm1 were analyzed. Interestingly, Ole induced a different regulation of the Akt/mTOR pathway in female compared to male mice, but was able to activate the autophagic process in ND and HFD mice through AMPK-dependent phosphorylation of ULK1 at Ser555, regardless of the gender. Our work reveals the ability of Ole to induce, in liver of ND and HFD mice, autophagy independently by gender-specific mTOR activation. We highlight Ole as a novel therapeutic approach to counteract unhealthy diet-related liver steatosis by targeting autophagy.
Research paper authors: Cristiana Porcu, Silvia Sideri, Maurizio Martini, Alessandra Cocomazzi, Andrea Galli, Giovanni Tarantino, Clara Balsano