Effect of IL-6 deficiency on myocardial expression of fatty acid transporters and intracellular lipid deposits
IL-6 is a biologically active substance and is thought to contribute to the development of obesity. Recent findings suggest that susceptibility to intracellular lipid accumulation is to a large extent determined by changes in the expression of fatty acid transporters such as FAT/CD36, FABPpm and FATP-1. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of IL-6 deficiency on the expression of fatty acid transporters, as well as, assess the concomitant changes in intracellular lipids. We found that Il-6 deficiency upregulated the myocardial expression of FAT/CD36 (+40%) and did not significantly affect the content of FABPpm and FATP-1 (+15% and +5% respectively). Although no change in the intramyocardial total lipid content was noted, there was a significant increase in the intracellular content of both free fatty acid (FFA), diacylglicerol (DG) and ceramide fractions (+45%, +37% and +48%, respectively) in hearts from IL-6 -/- mice. A trend for IL-6 deficiency to increase in saturated FA species in these fractions was also observed (+8%, +12% and +10%, respectively). In contrast, IL-6 deficiency has no effect on the content of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) species in each intramyocardial lipid fractions examinated. These findings suggest that IL-6 deficiency results in 1) upregulation of myocardial content of FAT/CD36, 2) the increase in the content of biologically active lipid pools (FFA, DG and ceramide). This lipid accumulation with concomitant trend for increase in the saturation status of these lipid fractions may, at least in part, provide a factor related to the development of intramyocardial lipotoxicity, observed in obese individuals.