Gabriela Gutiérrez-Salmeán, Elizabeth De Jesús-Torres, Pilar Ortiz-Vilchis, Claudia Vacaseydel, Leticia Garduño-Siciliano, Eduardo Meaney, Francisco Villarreal, Israel Ramírez-Sánchez, Alicia Ortiz, Germán Chamorro-Cevallos and Guillermo Ceballos
Background and objective: The Metabolic Syndrome (MS) is suggested to develop from –among other factorsinadequate diet. To explore its pathophysiology, animal models of diet-induced obesity and its comorbidities are often used, although not all of them produce the same cardiometabolic alterations. Regarding novel therapeutic options, (-)-epicatechin (EPI), the most abundant polyphenol in cacao exerts several beneficial effects on MS features. Therefore, we aimed to test the effects of EPI in the cardiometabolic derangements of rats fed with a diet with added, sugar, saturated fat, added with cholesterol and cholate (Paigen-like diet, PD).
Methods: 4 groups of rats were assessed: normal diet (ND); normal diet + EPI (ND+E); Pagen-like diet (PD) and Paigen-like diet + EPI (PD+E, prevention group). EPI was administered by gavage (1 mg/kg daily) for 2 weeks. Body weight, Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), glycemia, triglyceridemia, total and HDL cholesterol were measured at base, at week 5 and after 2-week period of treatment with EPI (treatment group).
Results: PD induced several markers of MS. EPI induced significative decreases in glycemia, triglyceridemia, and SBP. EPI raised HDL level without reaching the basal values. EPI treatment provided by 2 weeks after the MS markers develop (treatment group) induced a considerable weight lost.
Conclusion: The PD assayed in this work, effectively induced MS in rodents that are otherwise resistant to dietary modifications. EPI resulted in the attenuation of all cardiometabolic alteration previously induced by diet. These promising results obtained in a murine model with EPI indicate the possibility to begin testing it in human obesity and MS.