2021 Volume 83 Issue 3 Pages 487-500
Hepatic steatosis is known to precede a continuum of events that lead to hepatic metabolic dysfunction, inflammation and carcinogenesis. Recently, studies have linked xenobiotic exposures to hepatic steatogenesis and its associated metabolic disorders; however, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. This study aimed to elucidate the mechanistic role of imidacloprid in the prevalence of high fat diet (HFD)-induced liver steatosis, using a C57BL/6J mice model. Mice (3 weeks old) were fed with HFD and treated with 0.6 mg/kg bw/day (one-tenth of the NOAEL) of imidacloprid through water or diet, for 24 weeks. In a controlled group, mice were fed with only HFD. At the end of the study, imidacloprid treatment significantly potentiated HFD-induced body weight gain in mice. Also, imidacloprid increased the liver weights of mice, with complimentary reductions in mesenteric and gonadal white adipose tissue weights. Histopathological analysis of liver revealed a drastic steatosis in imidacloprid treated mice. Following a real-time qPCR analysis, imidacloprid upregulated transcriptions of hepatic fatty acid biosynthesis-related transcription factors and genes. Imidacloprid also induced hepatic expression of the gene encoding pregnane X receptor; but had no significant effect on hepatic expressions of liver X receptor and aryl hydrocarbon receptor. The imidacloprid treatment further enhanced serum alanine aminotransferase levels but downregulated hepatic antioxidant mRNA expressions. Ultimately, this study suggested an imidacloprid-potentiation effects on prevalence of HFD-induced liver steatosis via transcriptional modulations of the hepatic FA biosynthesis pathway.