European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 537–545 | Cite as

Increased hepatic de novo lipogenesis and mitochondrial efficiency in a model of obesity induced by diets rich in fructose

  • Raffaella Crescenzo
  • Francesca Bianco
  • Italia Falcone
  • Paola Coppola
  • Giovanna LiveriniEmail author
  • Susanna Iossa
Original Contribution



To assess hepatic de novo lipogenesis and mitochondrial energetics as well as whole-body energy homeostasis in sedentary rats fed a fructose-rich diet.


Male rats of 90 days of age were fed a high-fructose or control diet for 8 weeks. Body composition, energy balance, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, non-protein respiratory quotient, de novo lipogenesis and insulin resistance were measured. Determination of specific activity of hepatic enzymes of de novo lipogenesis, mitochondrial mass, oxidative capacity and degree of coupling, together with parameters of oxidative stress and antioxidant defence, was also carried out.


Body energy and lipid content as well as plasma insulin and non-esterified fatty acids were significantly higher in fructose-fed than in control rats. Significantly higher rates of net de novo lipogenesis and activities of hepatic lipogenic enzymes fatty acid synthase and stearoyl CoA desaturase-1 were found in fructose-fed rats compared to controls. Mitochondrial protein mass and degree of coupling were significantly higher in fructose-fed rats compared to controls. Hepatic mitochondria showed oxidative damage, both in the lipid and in the protein component, together with decreased activity of antioxidant defence.


Liver mitochondrial compartment is highly affected by fructose feeding. The increased mitochondrial efficiency allows liver cells to burn less substrates to produce ATP for de novo lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis. In addition, increased lipogenesis gives rise to whole body and ectopic lipid deposition, and higher mitochondrial coupling causes mitochondrial oxidative stress.


Mitochondrial uncoupling Insulin resistance Body lipids De novo lipogenesis 



This work was supported by a grant from University “Federico II” of Naples. The authors thank Dr. Emilia De Santis for skilful management of animal house.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raffaella Crescenzo
    • 1
  • Francesca Bianco
    • 1
  • Italia Falcone
    • 1
  • Paola Coppola
    • 1
  • Giovanna Liverini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susanna Iossa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Structural and Functional BiologyUniversity of NaplesNaplesItaly

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