Increased A-ring reduction of glucocorticoids in obese Zucker rats: effects of insulin sensitization.

Research paper by Dawn E W DE Livingstone, Kerry J KJ McInnes, Brian R BR Walker, Ruth R Andrew

Indexed on: 14 Oct '05Published on: 14 Oct '05Published in: Obesity research


Obesity is associated with altered glucocorticoid metabolism, which may impact on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Here we characterize hepatic 5alpha- and 5beta-reductase in obese rats and their responses to insulin sensitization.Hepatic A-ring reductase protein and mRNA were assessed in lean and obese Zucker rats after insulin sensitization with metformin or rosiglitazone (n = 7 to 8/group).Hepatic 5alpha-reductase 1 and 5beta-reductase mRNA and protein (p < 0.01) were increased in obese rats. Insulin sensitization ameliorated increased 5alpha-reductase 1 mRNA in obese rats (p < 0.01) and partially reversed increased 5beta-reductase activity.Hepatic clearance of glucocorticoids by 5alpha- and 5beta-reductase is increased in obese Zucker rats, and this increase in clearance is attenuated by insulin sensitization. This increased hepatic clearance may underpin compensatory activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in obesity.