Oxidative stress and a high fat diet in rats : an intervention study on the effects of an organometallic compound on enzyme function, inflammatory markers, endotoxins and fasting serum glucose and insulin levels
Cardiovascular disease has reached epidemic proportions resulting in its ranking as the number one cause of mortality in the Western world. A key player in the pathophysiology of vascular disease is oxidative stress due to free radical accumulation. This intervention study was conducted to evaluate any potential mediation of oxidative stress using a soil-derived organometallic compound (OMC) with suspected antioxidant properties. A 10-week study was conducted in male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 42) fed either a high-fat diet (HFD) consisting of 60% kcal from fat or a standard Chow diet containing only 6% kcals from fat. Rats from each diet group were then subdivided into 3 subgroups (n = 6-10 each) that received 0.0 mg/mL, 0.6 mg/mL or 3.0 mg/mL OMC. Neither the diet nor OMC significantly changed protein expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in isolated aortas. Plasma levels of the inflammatory marker, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) were below detection after the 10-week trial. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), a scavenger of the free radical, superoxide, was not significantly different following HFD although levels of SOD were significantly higher in Chow rats treated with 0.6 mg/mL OMC compared to HFD rats treated with the same dose (p < 0.05). Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) were significantly increased following 10 weeks of high fat intake (p < 0.05). This increase in endotoxicity was prevented by the high dose of OMC. HFD significantly increased fasting serum glucose levels at both 6 weeks (p < 0.001) and 10 weeks (p < 0.025) compared to Chow controls. The high dose of OMC significantly prevented the hyperglycemic effects of the HFD in rats at 10 weeks (p = 0.021). HFD-fed rats developed hyperinsulinemia after 10 weeks of feeding (p = 0.009), which was not prevented by OMC. The results of this study indicate that OMC may be an effective strategy to help manage diet-induced hyperglycemia and endotoxemia. However, further research is needed to determine the mechanism by which OMC helps prevent hyperglycemia as measures of inflammation (TNFα) and vascular damage (iNOS) were inconclusive.