The Journal of nutritional biochemistry

Diet-dependent retinoid effects on liver gene expression include stellate and inflammation markers and parallel effects of the nuclear repressor Shp.

PMID 28570941


For mice, a maternal vitamin A (VA)-deficient diet initiated from midgestation (GVAD) produces serum retinol deficiency in mature offspring. We hypothesize that the effects of GVAD arise from preweaning developmental changes. We compare the effect of this GVAD protocol in combination with a postweaning high-fat diet (HFD) or high-carbohydrate diet (LF12). Each is compared to an equivalent VA-sufficient combination. GVAD extensively decreased serum retinol and liver retinol, retinyl esters, and retinoid homeostasis genes (Lrat, Cyp26b1 and Cyp26a1). These suppressions were each more effective with LF12 than with HFD. Postweaning initiation of VA deficiency with LF12 depleted liver retinoids, but serum retinol was unaffected. Liver retinoid depletion, therefore, precedes serum attenuation. Maternal LF12 decreased the obesity response to the HFD, which was further decreased by GVAD. LF12 fed to the mother and offspring extensively stimulated genes marking stellate activation (Col1a1, Timp2 and Cyp1b1) and novel inflammation markers (Ly6d, Trem2 and Nupr1). The GVAD with LF12 diet combination suppressed these responses. GVAD in combination with the HFD increased these same clusters. A further set of expression differences on the HFD when compared to a high-carbohydrate diet was prevented when GVAD was combined with HFD. Most of these GVAD gene changes match published effects from deletion of Nr0b2/Shp, a retinoid-responsive, nuclear co-repressor that modulates metabolic homeostasis. The stellate and inflammatory increases seen with the high-carbohydrate LF12 diet may represent postprandial responses. They depend on retinol and Shp, but the regulation reverses with an HFD.