Fatty acids increase the circulating levels of oxidative stress factors in mice with diet-induced obesity via redox changes of albumin


H. Tsutsui, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita-15, Nishi-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan
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E-mail: htsutsui@med.hokudai.ac.jp


Plasma concentrations of free fatty acids are increased in metabolic syndrome, and the increased fatty acids may cause cellular damage via the induction of oxidative stress. The present study was designed to determine whether the increase in fatty acids can modify the free sulfhydryl group in position 34 of albumin (Cys34) and enhance the redox-cycling activity of the copper–albumin complex in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. The mice were fed with commercial normal diet or high-fat diet and water ad libitum for 3 months. The high-fat diet-fed mice developed obesity, hyperlipemia, and hyperglycemia. The plasma fatty acid/albumin ratio also significantly increased in high-fat diet-fed mice. The increased fatty acid/albumin ratio was associated with conformational changes in albumin and the oxidation of sulfhydryl groups. Moreover, an ascorbic acid radical, an index of redox-cycling activity of the copper–albumin complex, was detected only in the plasma from obese mice, whereas the plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid were not altered. Plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were significantly increased in the high-fat diet group. These results indicate that the increased plasma fatty acids in the high-fat diet group resulted in the activated redox cycling of the copper–albumin complex and excessive lipid peroxidation.