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Effects of a low-carb, high-fat diet, associated or not with resistance training on the fibrosis, extracellular matrix remodeling and lipid metabolism in the liver of rats

Grant number: 18/20556-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Metabolism and Bioenergetics
Principal Investigator:Heloisa Sobreiro Selistre de Araújo
Grantee:Giovanna Christe dos Reis Saladino
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The liver is one of the main organs responsible for the maintenance of the energetic metabolism, being responsible for directing the pathways of generation or degradation of energy. Dysfunction of the diet and energy intake by the organism can induce the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to chronic inflammation processes and develop a state of fibrosis. Fibrosis is characterized by the accumulation of collagen, caused by factors which stimulate its synthesis, such as TGF-², and alterations on the function of enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMPs), responsible for the control of the synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. A non-pharmacological treatment which has shown good results in the reversion of this state is adequate diet combined with exercise, aiming weight loss. Recently, low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diets have become popular for allegedly causing a faster weight loss, however, their long-term effects are still controversial, especially when associated with physical exercise. In this project, the effects of 21 weeks of LCHF diet combined or not with physical exercise on fibrosis, ECM remodeling, and lipid metabolism will be evaluated on the liver of Sprague Dawley rats. We will analyze the expression of genes associated with lipogenesis, ²-oxidation, collagen synthesis, and extracellular matrix degradation, the quantification of MMP enzyme activity through zymography and hepatic enzymes in the blood through colorimetry, and morphological analysis.

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