Mimetics of caloric restriction include agonists of lipid-activated nuclear receptors

J. Christopher Corton, Udayan Apte, Steven P. Anderson, Pallavi Limaye, Lawrence Yoon, John Latendresse, Corrie Dunn, Jeffrey I. Everitt, Kenneth A. Voss, Cynthia Swanson, Carie Kimbrough, Jean S. Wong, Sarjeet S. Gill, Roshantha A S Chandraratna, Mi Kyoung Kwak, Thomas W. Kensler, Thomas M. Stulnig, Knut R. Steffensen, Jan Åke Gustafsson, Harihara M. Mehendale

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103 Scopus citations


The obesity epidemic in industrialized countries is associated with increases in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain types of cancer. In animal models, caloric restriction (CR) suppresses these diseases as well as chemical-induced tissue damage. These beneficial effects of CR overlap with those altered by agonists of nuclear receptors (NR) under control of the fasting-responsive transcriptional co-activator, peroxisome proliferator- activated co-activator 1α (PGC-1α). In a screen for compounds that mimic CR effects in the liver, we found statistically significant overlaps between the CR transcript profile in wild-type mice and the profiles altered by agonists of lipid-activated NR, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), liver X receptor, and their obligate heterodimer partner, retinoid X receptor. The overlapping genes included those involved in CVD (lipid metabolism and inflammation) and cancer (cell fate). Based on this overlap, we hypothesized that some effects of CR are mediated by PPARα. As determined by transcript profiling, 19% of all gene expression changes in wild-type mice were dependent on PPARα, including Cyp4a10 and Cyp4a14, involved in fatty acid ω-oxidation, acute phase response genes, and epidermal growth factor receptor but not increases in PGC-1α. CR protected the livers of wild-type mice from damage induced by thioacetamide, a liver toxicant and hepatocarcinogen. CR protection was lost in PPARα-null mice due to inadequate tissue repair. These results demonstrate that PPARα mediates some of the effects of CR and indicate that a pharmacological approach to mimicking many of the beneficial effects of CR may be possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46204-46212
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Oct 29 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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