Chronic blockade of nitric oxide synthesis reduces adiposity and improves insulin resistance in high fat-induced obese mice

Kyoichiro Tsuchiya, Haruna Sakai, Noriko Suzuki, Fumiko Iwashima, Takanobu Yoshimoto, Masayoshi Shichiri, Yukio Hirata
Endocrinology 2007, 148 (10): 4548-56
Genetic deletion of inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in mice has been shown to improve high-fat diet (HFD)-induced insulin resistance. However, a pathophysiological role of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) in obesity-related insulin resistance remains controversial. To address this issue, we examined the metabolic phenotypes in HFD-induced obese mice with chronic blockade of NO synthesis by a NOS inhibitor, N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Six-week-old male C57BL/6j mice were provided free access to either a standard diet (SD) or a HFD and tap water with or without L-NAME (100 mg/kg.d) for 12 wk. L-NAME treatment significantly attenuated body weight gain of mice fed either SD or HFD without affecting calorie intake. L-NAME treatment in HFD-fed mice improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. HFD feeding induced inducible NOS mRNA expression, but not the other two NOS isoforms, in white adipose tissue (WAT) and skeletal muscle. L-NAME treatment up-regulated uncoupling protein-1 in brown adipose tissue of HFD-fed mice but down-regulated monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and CD68 mRNAs levels in WAT. HFD feeding up-regulated leptin mRNA levels but conversely down-regulated adiponectin mRNA levels in WAT, but these effects were unaffected by L-NAME treatment. Moreover, L-NAME treatment also increased peroxisome proliferator-uncoupling protein-3 mRNA levels in skeletal muscles of HFD-fed mice. Increased urinary excretion of norepinephrine after HFD feeding was augmented in L-NAME-treated mice. Insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 and serine phosphorylation of Akt/Akt2 in soleus muscle was markedly impaired in HFD-fed mice but reversed by L-NAME treatment. In conclusion, chronic NOS blockade by L-NAME in mice ameliorates HFD-induced adiposity and glucose intolerance, accompanied by reduced adipose inflammation and improved insulin signaling in skeletal muscle, suggesting that endogenous NO plays a modulatory role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance.

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