Dietary fat interacts with PCBs to induce changes in lipid metabolism in mice deficient in low-density lipoprotein receptor

Bernhard Hennig, Gudrun Reiterer, Michal Toborek, Sergey V. Matveev, Alan Daugherty, Eric Smart, Larry W. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


There is evidence that dietary fat can modify the cytotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and that coplanar PCBs can induce inflammatory processes critical in the pathology of vascular diseases. To test the hypothesis that the interaction of PCBs with dietary fat is dependent on the type of fat, low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDL-R-/-) mice were fed diets enriched with either olive oil or corn oil for 4 weeks. Half of the animals from each group were injected with PCB-77. Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) expression in aortic arches was non-detectable in the olive-oil-fed mice but was highly expressed in the presence of PCB-77. PCB treatment increased hvrr neutral lipids and decreased serum fatty acid levels only in mice fed the corn-oil-enriched diet. PCB treatment increased mRNA expression of genes involved in inflammation, apoptosis, and oxidative stress in all mice. Upon PCB treatment, mice in both olive- and corn-oil-diet groups showed induction of genes involved in fatty acid degradation but with upregulation of different key enzymes. Genes involved in fatty acid synthesis were reduced only upon PCB treatment in corn-oil-fed mice, whereas lipid transport/export genes were altered in olive-oil-fed mice. These data suggest that dietary fat can modify changes in lipid metabolism induced by PCBs in serum and tissues. These findings have implications for understanding the interactions of nutrients with environmental contaminants on the pathology of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Dietary fat
  • Gene expression
  • Lipid metabolism
  • PCB
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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