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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Oct 15;303(8):E959-72. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00202.2012. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Effects of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency on the metabolic and cardiac responses to obesogenic or high-fructose diets.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a common human enzymopathy that affects cellular redox status and may lower flux into nonoxidative pathways of glucose metabolism. Oxidative stress may worsen systemic glucose tolerance and cardiometabolic syndrome. We hypothesized that G6PD deficiency exacerbates diet-induced systemic metabolic dysfunction by increasing oxidative stress but in myocardium prevents diet-induced oxidative stress and pathology. WT and G6PD-deficient (G6PDX) mice received a standard high-starch diet, a high-fat/high-sucrose diet to induce obesity (DIO), or a high-fructose diet. After 31 wk, DIO increased adipose and body mass compared with the high-starch diet but to a greater extent in G6PDX than WT mice (24 and 20% lower, respectively). Serum free fatty acids were increased by 77% and triglycerides by 90% in G6PDX mice, but not in WT mice, by DIO and high-fructose intake. G6PD deficiency did not affect glucose tolerance or the increased insulin levels seen in WT mice. There was no diet-induced hypertension or cardiac dysfunction in either mouse strain. However, G6PD deficiency increased aconitase activity by 42% and blunted markers of nonoxidative glucose pathway activation in myocardium, including the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway activation and advanced glycation end product formation. These results reveal a complex interplay between diet-induced metabolic effects and G6PD deficiency, where G6PD deficiency decreases weight gain and hyperinsulinemia with DIO, but elevates serum free fatty acids, without affecting glucose tolerance. On the other hand, it modestly suppressed indexes of glucose flux into nonoxidative pathways in myocardium, suggesting potential protective effects.

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