Abstract: 1. To clarify the underlying mechanism of hepatic fat accretion due to methionine (Met) deficiency in broiler chickens, the present study investigated the effect of Met deficiency on the hepatic carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) system, which imports fatty acids into mitochondria. 2. Fifteen-d-old male meat-type chickens were fed on either a control diet (containing 0.52 g/100 g Met) or a Met-deficient diet (containing 0.27 g Met/100 g). After a 10-d feeding period, the birds were killed by decapitation and their livers excised to determine hepatic CPT1 and CPT2 mRNA levels and for the related hepatic fatty acid-supported mitochondrial respiration to be measured. 3. Met deficiency decreased body weight gain and feed efficiency and increased hepatic lipid content compared to the control group. Whereas the hepatic CPT2 mRNA level in the Met-deficient group remained unchanged compared to that of the control group, the CPT1 mRNA level was decreased in the Met-deficient group and CPT1-dependent hepatic mitochondrial respiration was impaired. 4. Our results suggest that the hepatic lipid accretion that occurs in response to Met deficiency might be attributable to the impairment of CPT1-mediated fatty acid import into mitochondria.
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