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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 1838679, 18 pages
Research Article

Apolipoprotein CIII Overexpression-Induced Hypertriglyceridemia Increases Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Association with Inflammation and Cell Death

Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Biology Institute, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Helena C. F. Oliveira; rb.pmacinu@89oh

Received 4 August 2016; Revised 26 October 2016; Accepted 24 November 2016; Published 10 January 2017

Academic Editor: Ruchi Shah

Copyright © 2017 Adriene A. Paiva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the principal manifestation of liver disease in obesity and metabolic syndrome. By comparing hypertriglyceridemic transgenic mice expressing apolipoprotein (apo) CIII with control nontransgenic (NTg) littermates, we demonstrated that overexpression of apoCIII, independent of a high-fat diet (HFD), produces NAFLD-like features, including increased liver lipid content; decreased antioxidant power; increased expression of TNFα, TNFα receptor, cleaved caspase-1, and interleukin-1β; decreased expression of adiponectin receptor-2; and increased cell death. This phenotype is aggravated and additional NAFLD features are differentially induced in apoCIII mice fed a HFD. HFD induced glucose intolerance together with increased gluconeogenesis, indicating hepatic insulin resistance. Additionally, the HFD led to marked increases in plasma TNFα (8-fold) and IL-6 (60%) in apoCIII mice. Cell death signaling (Bax/Bcl2), effector (caspase-3), and apoptosis were augmented in apoCIII mice regardless of whether a HFD or a low-fat diet was provided. Fenofibrate treatment reversed several of the effects associated with diet and apoCIII expression but did not normalize inflammatory traits even when liver lipid content was fully corrected. These results indicate that apoCIII and/or hypertriglyceridemia plays a major role in liver inflammation and cell death, which in turn increases susceptibility to and the severity of diet-induced NAFLD.