Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Stearoyl-CoA desaturases (SCDs) catalyze the biosynthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids from saturated fatty acids. Four scd genes have been identified in mice and three in human (including one pseudogene). Among the four mouse SCD isoforms, SCD1 is predominantly expressed in liver and adipose tissue. Mice null for the scd1 gene have reduced adiposity, increased energy expenditure and altered lipid profiles. To further evaluate the specific role of hepatic SCD1 and the potential to achieve similar desirable phenotypic changes in adult obese mice, adenovirus-mediated short hairpin interfering RNA (shRNA) was used to acutely knock down hepatic scd1 expression in ob/ob mice. Robust reductions in hepatic SCD1 mRNA and SCD1 enzymatic activity were achieved, sustained up to 2 weeks. Reduced hepatic content of neutral lipids and robust lowering of lipid desaturation indexes, but increased content of liver phosphotidylcholine were observed with SCD1 knockdown. Increased total plasma cholesterol levels were also observed. No significant changes in body weight were observed. Expression levels of several lipogenic and lipid oxidation genes were not significantly altered by short term SCD1 reduction, but UCP2 expression was increased. Our results demonstrate that significant changes to both hepatic and systemic lipid profiles can be achieved through specific knockdown of liver-expressed SCD1 in the ob/ob mouse model. However, hepatic SCD1 knockdown does not result in significant changes in body weight in the short term.