Propionate Inhibits Hepatocyte Lipid Synthesis

R. Scott Wright, James W. Anderson, Susan R. Bridges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


Oat bran lowers serum cholesterol in animals and humans. Propionate, a short-chain fatty acid produced by colonic bacterial fermentation of soluble fiber, is a potential mediator of this action. We tested the effect of propionate on hepatocyte lipid synthesis in rats using [1-14C]acetate, 3H2O, and [2-14C]mevalonate as precursors. Propionate produced a statistically significant inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis from [1-14C]-acetate at a concentration of 1.0 mM and from 3H2O and [2-14C]mevolonate at concentrations of 2.5 mM. Propionate also produced a significant inhibition of fatty acid biosynthesis at concentrations of 2.5 mM using [1-14C]acetate as a precursor. The demonstration of propionate-mediated inhibition of cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis at these concentrations suggests that propionate may inhibit cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis in vivo and may mediate in part the hypolipidemic effects of soluble dietary fiber. Further studies are needed to clarify this action of propionate and to establish the exact mechanisms by which the inhibition occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-29
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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