Diazoxide down-regulates leptin and lipid metabolizing enzymes in adipose tissue of Zucker rats

Melissa Standridge, Ramin Alemzadeh, Michael Zemel, John Koontz, Naima Moustaid-Moussa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that attenuation of hyperinsulinemia by diazoxide (DZ), an inhibitor of glucose-mediated insulin secretion, increased insulin sensitivity and reduced body weight in obese Zucker rats. These findings prompted us to investigate the effects of DZ on key insulin- sensitive enzymes regulating adipose tissue metabolism, fatty acid synthase (FAS), and lipoprotein lipase (LPL), as well as on circulating levels of leptin. We also determined the direct effects of diazoxide on FAS in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Seven-week-old female obese and lean Zucker rats were treated with DZ (150 mg/kg/d) or vehicle (C, control) for a period of 6 wk. Changes in plasma parameters by DZ include significant decreases in triglycerides, free fatty adds, glucose, and insulin, consistent with our previous reports. DZ obese rats exhibited lower plasma leptin levels (P<0.03) compared to their C animals. DZ significantly reduced adipose tissue FAS activity in both lean (P<0.0001) and obese (P<0.01) animals. LPL mRNA content was also decreased significantly in DZ-treated obese animals (P<0.009) as compared to their respective controls without a significant effect on lean animals. The possibility that DZ exerted a direct effect on adipocytes was further tested in cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Although diazoxide (5 μM) alone did not change FAS activity in cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes, it significantly attenuated insulin's effect on FAS activity (P<0.001). We demonstrate that DZ regulates key insulin-sensitive enzymes involved in regulation of adipose tissue metabolism. These findings suggest that modification of insulin- sensitive pathways can be therapeutically beneficial in obesity management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-460
Number of pages6
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adipocytes
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipoprotein lipase


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