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Impact of α-lipoic acid on liver peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α, vascular remodeling, and oxidative stress in insulin-resistant rats

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This study sought to determine the impact of α-lipoic acid (LA) on superoxide anion (O2 •–) production and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα) expression in liver tissue, plasma free fatty acids (FFA), and aortic remodeling in a rat model of insulin resistance. Sprague–Dawley rats (50–75 g) were given either tap water or a drinking solution containing 10% D-glucose for 14 weeks, combined with a diet with or without LA supplement. O2 •– production was measured by lucigenin chemiluminescence, and PPAR-α expression by Western blotting. Cross-sectional area (CSA) of the aortic media and lumen and number of smooth muscle cells (SMC) were determined histologically. Glucose increased systolic blood pressure (SBP), plasma levels of glucose and insulin, and insulin resistance (HOMA index). All of these effects were attenuated by LA. Whereas glucose had no effect on liver PPAR-α protein level, it decreased plasma FFA. LA decreased the aortic and liver O2 •– production, body weight, and plasma FFA levels in control and glucose-treated rats. Liver PPAR-α protein levels were increased by LA, and negatively correlated with plasma FFA. Medial CSA was reduced in all glucose-treated rats, and positively correlated with plasma FFA but not with SBP or aortic O2 •– production. Glucose also reduced aortic lumen area, so that the media-to-lumen ratio remained unchanged. The ability of LA to lower plasma FFA appears to be mediated, in part, by increased hepatic PPAR-α expression, which may positively affect insulin resistance. Glucose-fed rats may serve as a unique model of aortic atrophic remodeling in hypertension and early metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: PPAR-α; acide α-lipoïque; foie; hypertension; hypertension, insulin resistance, PPAR-α, oxidative stress, α-lipoic acid, vascular remodeling; insulinorésistance; liver; remodelage vasculaire; stress oxydatif

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada. 2: Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada. 3: Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada.

Publication date: 2011-10-09

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