Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



J Nutr Biochem. 2012 June ; 23(6): 580–590.


© 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces adiposity in vivo. However, mechanisms mediating these changes are unclear. Therefore, we treated cultures of human adipocytes with trans-10, cis-12 (10,12) CLA, cis-9, trans-11 (9,11) CLA, or other trans fatty acids (FA) and measured indices of lipid metabolism. The lipid-lowering effects of 10,12 CLA were unique, as other trans FA did not reduce TG content to the same extent. Using low levels of [14C]-CLA isomers, it was shown that both isomers were readily incorporated into acylglycerols and phospholipids, albeit at lower levels than [14C]-oleic or [14C]-linoleic acids. When using [14C]-acetic acid and [14C]-pyruvic acid as substrates, 30 μM 10,12 CLA, but not 9,11 CLA, decreased de novo synthesis of triglyceride (TG), free FA, diacylglycerol, cholesterol esters, cardiolipin, phospholipids, and ceramides within 3–24 h. Treatment with 30 μM 10,12 CLA, but not 9,11 CLA, decreased total cellular lipids within 3 d and the ratio of monounsaturated FA (MUFA) to saturated FA, and increased C18:0 acyl-CoA levels within 24 h. Consistent with these data, stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD)-1 mRNA and protein levels were down-regulated by 10,12 CLA within 7–12 h, respectively. The mRNA levels of liver X receptor (LXR)α and sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-1c, transcription factors that regulate SCD-1, were decreased by 10,12 CLA within 5 h. These data suggest that the isomer-specific decrease in de novo lipid synthesis by 10,12 CLA is due, in part, to the rapid repression of lipogenic transcription factors that regulate MUFA synthesis, suggesting an anti-obesity mechanism unique to this trans FA.