Levocetirizine ameliorates high fructose diet-induced insulin resistance, vascular dysfunction and hepatic steatosis in rats
Abstract This study investigates the possible protective effects of levocetirizine against fructose-induced insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis and vascular dysfunction, in comparison to pioglitazone, a standard insulin sensitizer. Male Sprague Dawley rats (150–200 g) were divided into 4 groups. Three groups were fed on high fructose diets (HFD) containing 60% w/w fructose, while the fourth control group was fed on standard laboratory food for 8 weeks. AUC OGTT , AUC ITT , fasting glucose, HOMA-IR, hepatic glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, serum total cholesterol, LDL-C, C-reactive protein (CRP) level and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and liver steatosis scores were significantly higher in HFD group compared to control group. Moreover, body weight gain, food intake, feeding efficiency, HOMA-β, E max and pEC 50 of acetylcholine-induced relaxations of aortic rings and hepatic superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were significantly lower in HFD group than in control group. Treatment with levocetirizine caused significant decreases in AUC OGTT , AUC ITT , HOMA-IR, hepatic GSH and MDA levels and serum CRP level and LDH activity and significant increases in hepatic SOD activity and HOMA-β when compared with the HFD group. Although levocetirizine failed to alter TC and LDL-C levels, it produced a significant increase in HDL-C level relative to control group. Levocetirizine was also able to improve acetylcholine-induced relaxations of aortic rings, indicating a protective effect against insulin resistance-induced endothelial damage comparable to that offered by pioglitazone. Moreover, levocetirizine substantially attenuated insulin resistance-associated liver macrovesicular steatosis. These findings demonstrate that levocetirizine ameliorates insulin resistance, improves glucose tolerance and attenuates insulin resistance-linked hepatic steatosis and vascular damage.