Betaine Attenuates Alcohol-Induced Pancreatic Steatosis

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ObjectivesTo explore the effect of betaine on alcoholic pancreatic steatosis and its mechanism.MethodsRats were randomly assigned to control, ethanol, or ethanol + betaine groups. Changes in pancreatic morphology; serum lipid levels; and pancreatic lipid, amylase and lipase levels were determined. The serum and adipose tissue adiponectin level was measured by an enzyme-linked immunoassay. Adiponectin receptor-1 (AdipoR1), AdipoR2, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), SREBP-2, and fatty acid synthetase expression levels were quantified. The SREBP-1c expression in SW1990 cells treated with various concentrations of ethanol or ethanol plus betaine and/or adiponectin was assessed.ResultsAlcohol-induced changes in pancreatic morphology were attenuated by betaine. Pancreatic triglyceride, free fatty acid and expression levels of SREBP-1c and fatty acid synthetase were elevated after ethanol feeding but remained at control levels after betaine supplementation. Alcohol-induced decreases in serum and adipose tissue adiponectin, pancreatic AdipoR1, amylase, and lipase were attenuated by betaine. Serum triglyceride and free fatty acid levels were elevated after alcohol consumption and remained higher after betaine supplementation compared with controls. Betaine and/or adiponectin suppressed alcohol-induced SREBP-1c upregulation in vitro.ConclusionsBetaine attenuated alcoholic-induced pancreatic steatosis most likely by suppressing pancreatic SREBP-1c both directly and through the restoration of adiponectin signaling.

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