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Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2004 Jun;26(5):327-33.

Reversal of glucose intolerance by by pioglitazone in high fat diet-fed rats.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Punjab, India.


The present study was undertaken to determine the effect of pioglitazone (3, 10 and 30 mg/kg p.o.), an insulin sensitizer, on glucose intolerance in high fat diet- (HFD) fed rats (a nongenetic model of insulin resistance). In addition, the effect of pioglitazone (3, 10 and 30 mg/kg p.o.) on diet-induced changes in body weight, plasma glucose, insulin, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels were also determined. The feeding of HFD for 4 weeks produced a significant increase in body weight, total fat pad weight, basal/fasting plasma glucose, insulin, basal triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) levels in male rats. Furthermore, the rats fed HFD exhibited fasting hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia as well as enhanced glycemic response to exogenously administered glucose (2 g/kg p.o.) during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at the end of 4 weeks of dietary manipulation, indicating that the rats had developed insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Treatment with pioglitazone (10 and 30 mg/kg p.o.) once daily for 2 weeks significantly diminished the elevated basal plasma insulin and TG levels in HFD-fed rats. In addition, a statistically significant reduction in TC level was observed only with the high dose of pioglitazone (30 mg/kg p.o.). However, pioglitazone had no significant effect on body weight, total fat pad weight and basal plasma glucose level. Pioglitazone (10 and 30 mg/kg p.o.) significantly reduced fasting hyperglycemia and reversed oral glucose intolerance to normal in HFD-fed rats compared with control normal rats. The above findings suggest that pioglitazone has potent insulin-sensitizing and lipid-lowering properties in a HFD-fed rat model. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that the adult male rats on a HFD for 4 weeks exhibited the characteristic features of obesity, insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, namely increased body weight, increased total fat pad weight, mild basal/fasting hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia and impaired oral glucose tolerance, that closely resemble the human prediabetic obese insulin-resistant and glucose-intolerant state. Further treatment with pioglitazone once daily for 2 weeks significantly ameliorated changes in basal plasma insulin, TG and TC, and reversed oral glucose intolerance to normal in HFD-fed rats, suggesting its potential in the treatment of insulin resistance and glucose intolerance associated with abnormal lipid metabolism.

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