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Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Jan 15;85(2):257-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2012.10.014. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Reversal of the deleterious effects of chronic dietary HFCS-55 intake by PPAR-δ agonism correlates with impaired NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

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Department of Drug Science and Technology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.


Although high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS-55) is the major sweetener in foods and soft-drinks, its potential role in the pathophysiology of diabetes and obesity ("diabesity") remains unclear. Peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-δ agonists have never been tested in models of sugar-induced metabolic abnormalities. This study was designed to evaluate (i) the metabolic and renal consequences of HFCS-55 administration (15% wt/vol in drinking water) for 30 weeks on male C57Bl6/J mice and (ii) the effects of the selective PPAR-δ agonist GW0742 (1 mg/kg/day for 16 weeks) in this condition. HFCS-55 caused (i) hyperlipidemia, (ii) insulin resistance, and (iii) renal injury/inflammation. In the liver, HFCS-55 enhanced the expression of fructokinase resulting in hyperuricemia and caused abnormalities in known insulin-driven signaling events. In the kidney, HFCS-55 enhanced the expression of the NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich-repeat-protein 3) inflammasome complex, resulting in caspase-1 activation and interleukin-1β production. All of the above effects of HFCS-55 were attenuated by the specific PPAR-δ agonist GW0742. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time that the specific PPAR-δ agonist GW0742 attenuates the metabolic abnormalities and the renal dysfunction/inflammation caused by chronic HFCS-55 exposure by preventing upregulation of fructokinase (liver) and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome (kidney).

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