Dietary phosphate modulates atherogenesis and insulin resistance in apolipoprotein E knockout mice--brief report.

Research paper by Timothy T Ellam, Martin M Wilkie, Janet J Chamberlain, David D Crossman, Richard R Eastell, Sheila S Francis, Timothy J A TJ Chico

Indexed on: 04 Jun '11Published on: 04 Jun '11Published in: Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology


Epidemiological studies link higher serum phosphate and the phosphatonin fibroblast growth factor 23 with cardiovascular events and atheroma, and they link lower serum phosphate with insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. We investigated whether manipulating dietary phosphate influences atherogenesis or insulin sensitivity in mice.Apolipoprotein E knockout mice were fed an atherogenic diet with low (0.2%), standard (0.6%), or high (1.6%) phosphate content. Serum phosphate and fibroblast growth factor 23 significantly increased with increasing dietary phosphate intake, but lipid profile and blood pressure were unaffected. After 20 weeks, mice on the higher phosphate diet had significantly more atheroma at the aortic sinus (42±1.9% versus 30±1.5% for high versus low phosphate, P<0.01). Compared with standard and high-phosphate diet groups, mice on a low-phosphate diet had more adipose tissue and a 4-fold increase in insulin resistance measured by homeostatic model assessment (43.7±9.3 versus 8.9±0.7 for low versus high phosphate, P<0.005).A high-phosphate diet accelerates atherogenesis in apolipoprotein E(-/-) mice, whereas low phosphate intake induces insulin resistance. These data indicate for the first time that controlling dietary phosphate intake may influence development of both atherosclerosis and the metabolic syndrome.