Food and Behaviour Research

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Dysregulation of Hypothalamic Gene Expression and the Oxytocinergic System by Soybean Oil Diets in Male Mice

Deol P, Kozlova E, Valdez M, Ho C, Yang EW, Richardson H, Gonzalez G, Truong E, Reid J, Valdez J, Deans JR, Martinez-Lomeli J, Evans JR, Jiang T, Sladek FM, Curras-Collazo MC (2020) Endocrinology.  2020 Jan.  pii: bqz044. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqz044. [Epub ahead of print] 

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Abstract:

Soybean oil consumption has increased greatly in the past half-century and is linked to obesity and diabetes. To test the hypothesis that soybean oil diet alters hypothalamic gene expression in conjunction with metabolic phenotype, we performed RNA-seq analysis using male mice fed isocaloric, high-fat diets based on conventional soybean oil (high in linoleic acid, LA), a genetically modified, low-LA soybean oil (Plenish) and coconut oil (high in saturated fat, containing no LA).

The two 
soybean oil diets had similar, albeit non-identical, effects on the hypothalamic transcriptome, whereas the coconut oil diet had a negligible effect compared to a low-fat control diet. Dysregulated genes were associated with inflammation, neuroendocrine, neurochemical, and insulin signaling. Oxt was the only gene with metabolic, inflammation and neurological relevance upregulated by both soybean oil diets compared to both control diets. Oxytocin immunoreactivity in the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus was reduced while plasma oxytocin and hypothalamic Oxt were increased.

These central and peripheral effects of 
soybean oil diets were correlated with glucose intolerance but not body weight. Alterations in hypothalamic Oxt and plasma oxytocin were not observed in coconut oil diet enriched in stigmasterol, a phytosterol found in soybean oil. We postulate that neither stigmasterol nor LA is responsible for effects of soybean oil diets on oxytocin and that Oxt mRNA levels could be associated with the diabetic state.

Given its ubiquitous presence in the American diet, the observed effects of 
soybean oil on hypothalamic gene expression could have important public health ramifications.

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