Comparative anti-inflammatory and lipid-normalizing effects of metformin and omega-3 fatty acids through modulation of transcription factors in diabetic rats.
Genes Nutr. 2016 ;11:10. Epub 2016 Mar 17. PMID: 27551311
BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence suggests beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids on diabetic complications. The present study compared the progressive effects of metformin and flax/fish oil on lipid metabolism, inflammatory markers, and liver and renal function test markers in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced diabetic rats.
METHODS: Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were randomized into control and four diabetic groups: streptozotocin (STZ), metformin (200 mg/kg body weight (b.w)/day (D)), flax and fish oil (500 mg/kg b.w/D).
RESULTS: Metformin and flax and fish oil exhibited increased expression of transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorγ while the treatment downregulated sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 and nuclear factor kβ as compared to those of the STZ group. Apart from modulation of transcription factor expression, the expression of fatty acid synthase, long chain acyl CoA synthase, and malonyl-CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase was lowered by flax/fish oil treatment. Serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and VLDL were also significantly reduced in the treatment groups as compared to those in the STZ group. Although pathological abnormalities were seen in the liver and kidneys of rats on metformin, no significant changes in liver/renal function markers were observed at day 15 and day 30 of the treatment groups. Flax/fish oil had protective effects toward pathological abnormalities in the liver and kidney. Flax/fish oil improved lipid profile and alkaline phosphatase at day 30 as compared to that at day15.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates potential beneficial effects of metformin and flax/fish oil intervention in improving serum lipid profile by regulating the expression of transcription factors and genes involved in lipid metabolism in diabetic rats. In addition, these interventions also lowered the expression of atherogenic cytokines. The protective effects of flax/fish oil are worth investigating in human subjects on metformin monotherapy.