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DOI: 10.3390/nu13082596; PMCID: PMC8400659


The central integration of peripheral neural signals is one mechanism by which systemic energy homeostasis is regulated. Previously, increased acute food intake following the chemical reduction of hepatic fatty acid oxidation and ATP levels was prevented by common hepatic branch vagotomy (HBV). However, possible offsite actions of the chemical compounds confound the precise role of liver energy metabolism. Herein, we used a hepatocyte PGC1a heterozygous (LPGC1a) mouse model, with associated reductions in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and respiratory capacity, to assess the role of liver energy metabolism in systemic energy homeostasis. LPGC1a male, but not female, mice had a 70% greater high-fat/high-sucrose (HFHS) diet-induced weight gain compared to wildtype (WT) mice (p < 0.05). The greater weight gain was associated with altered feeding behavior and lower activity energy expenditure during the HFHS diet in LPGC1a males. WT and LPGC1a mice underwent sham surgery or HBV to assess whether vagal signaling was involved in the HFHS-induced weight gain of male LPGC1a mice. HBV increased HFHS-induced weight gain (85%, p < 0.05) in male WT mice, but not LPGC1a mice. These data demonstrate a sex-specific role of reduced liver energy metabolism in acute diet-induced weight gain, and the need for a more nuanced assessment of the role of vagal signaling in short-term diet-induced weight gain.

Journal Title







energy expenditure; energy homeostasis; food intake; liver; mitochondria; weight gain


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