Diet-induced hyperinsulinemia differentially affects glucose and protein metabolism: a high-throughput metabolomic approach in rats
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- Etxeberria, U., de la Garza, A.L., Martínez, J.A. et al. J Physiol Biochem (2013) 69: 613. doi:10.1007/s13105-013-0232-0
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Metabolomics is a high-throughput tool that quantifies and identifies the complete set of biofluid metabolites. This “omics” science is playing an increasing role in understanding the mechanisms involved in disease progression. The aim of this study was to determine whether a nontargeted metabolomic approach could be applied to investigate metabolic differences between obese rats fed a high-fat sucrose (HFS) diet for 9 weeks and control diet-fed rats. Animals fed with the HFS diet became obese, hyperleptinemic, hyperglycemic, hyperinsulinemic, and resistant to insulin. Serum samples of overnight-fasted animals were analyzed by 1H NMR technique, and 49 metabolites were identified and quantified. The biochemical changes observed suggest that major metabolic processes like carbohydrate metabolism, β-oxidation, tricarboxylic acid cycle, Kennedy pathway, and folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism were altered in obese rats. The circulating levels of most amino acids were lower in obese animals. Serum levels of docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, unsaturated n-6 fatty acids, and total polyunsaturated fatty acids also decreased in HFS-fed rats. The circulating levels of urea, six water-soluble metabolites (creatine, creatinine, choline, acetyl carnitine, formate, and allantoin), and two lipid compounds (phosphatidylcholines and sphingomyelin) were also significantly reduced by the HFS diet intake. This study offers further insight of the possible mechanisms implicated in the development of diet-induced obesity. It suggests that the HFS diet-induced hyperinsulinemia is responsible for the decrease in the circulating levels of urea, creatinine, and many amino acids, despite an increase in serum glucose levels.