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Chronic angiotensin receptor activation promotes hepatic triacylglycerol accumulation during an acute glucose challenge in obese-insulin-resistant OLETF rats



Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can ameliorate metabolic syndrome (MetS)-associated dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, and glucose intolerance, suggesting that angiotensin receptor (AT1) over-activation contributes to impaired lipid and glucose metabolism, which is characteristic of MetS. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the lipid profile and proteins of fatty acid uptake, triacylglycerol (TAG) synthesis, and β-oxidation to better understand the links between AT1 overactivation and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) during MetS.


Four groups of 25-week-old-rats were used: (1) untreated LETO, (2) untreated OLETF, (3) OLETF + angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB; 10 mg olmesartan/kg/d × 8 weeks) and (4) OLETF ± ARB (MINUS; 10 mg olmesartan/kg/d × 4 weeks, then removed until dissection). To investigate the dynamic shifts in metabolism, animals were dissected after an oral glucose challenge (fasting, 3 and 6 h post-glucose).


Compared to OLETF, plasma total cholesterol and TAG remained unchanged in ARB. However, liver TAG was 55% lesser in ARB than OLETF, and remained lower throughout the challenge. Basal CD36 and ApoB were 28% and 29% lesser, respectively, in ARB than OLETF. PRDX6 abundance in ARB was 45% lesser than OLETF, and it negatively correlated with liver TAG in ARB.


Chronic blockade of AT1 protects the liver from TAG accumulation during glucose overload. This may be achieved by modulating NEFA uptake and increasing TAG export via ApoB. Our study highlights the contributions of AT1 signaling to impaired hepatic substrate metabolism and the detriments of a high-glucose load and its potential contribution to steatosis during MetS.

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