We aimed to investigate whether in vitro fermentation of soy with L. plantarum could promote its beneficial effects on lipids at the molecular and physiological levels. Rats were fed an AIN76A diet containing 50% sucrose (w/w) (CTRL), a modified AIN76A diet supplemented with 1% (w/w) cholesterol (CHOL), or a CHOL diet where 20% casein was replaced with soy milk (SOY) or fermented soy milk (FSOY). Dietary isoflavone profiles, serum lipids, hepatic and fecal cholesterol, and tissue gene expression were examined. The FSOY diet had more aglycones than did the SOY diet. Both the SOY and FSOY groups had lower hepatic cholesterol and serum triglyceride (TG) than did the CHOL group. Only FSOY reduced hepatic TG and serum free fatty acids and increased serum HDL-CHOL and fecal cholesterol. Compared to CHOL, FSOY lowered levels of the nuclear forms of SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 and expression of their target genes, including FAS, SCD1, LDLR, and HMGCR. On the other hand, FSOY elevated adipose expression levels of genes involved in TG-rich lipoprotein uptake (ApoE, VLDLR, and Lrp1), fatty acid oxidation (PPARα, CPT1α, LCAD, CYP4A1, UCP2, and UCP3), HDL-biogenesis (ABCA1, ApoA1, and LXRα), and adiponectin signaling (AdipoQ, AdipoR1, and AdipoR2), as well as levels of phosphorylated AMPK and ACC. SOY conferred a similar expression profile in both liver and adipose tissues but failed to reach statistical significance in many of the genes tested, unlike FSOY. Our data indicate that fermentation may be a way to enhance the beneficial effects of soy on lipid metabolism, in part via promoting a reduction of SREBP-dependent cholesterol and TG synthesis in the liver, and enhancing adiponectin signaling and PPARα-induced expression of genes involved in TG-rich lipoprotein clearance, fatty acid oxidation, and reverse cholesterol transport in adipose tissues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)