Forkhead O transcription factors (FOXOs) have been implicated in glucose and lipid homeostasis; however, the role of FOXOs in the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not well understood. In this study, we designed experiments to examine the effects of two different diets - very high fat diet (HFD) and moderately high fat plus cholesterol diet (HFC) - on wildtype (WT) and liver-specific Foxo1/3/4 triple knockout mice (LTKO). Both diets induced severe hepatic steatosis in the LTKO mice as compared to WT controls. However, the HFC diet led to more severe liver injury and fibrosis compared to the HFD diet. At the molecular levels, hepatic Foxo1/3/4 deficiency triggered a significant increase in the expression of inflammatory and fibrotic genes including Emr1, Ccl2, Col1a1, Tgfb, Pdgfrb, and Timp1. Thus, our data suggest that FOXO transcription factors play a salutary role in the protection against the diet-induced fatty liver disease.
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