1. Chronic alcohol feeding with a low-fat diet (4.4% total calories) produced a two- to three-fold increase in hepatic triacylglycerol and esterified cholesterol compared with pair-fed low-fat diet controls. Plasma lipids were similar in both groups.
2. Hepatic fatty acid synthesis rates measured in vivo with 3H2O were significantly lower in the alcohol-fed animals than in controls. Activities of hepatic fatty acid synthase (EC 126.96.36.199) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (EC 188.8.131.52) were reduced in the alcohol-fed rats.
3. These results indicate that enhanced hepatic fatty acid synthesis does not occur in rats fed alcohol and a low-fat diet for 4 weeks, and is thus not implicated in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced fatty liver.