Vitamin A Improves Hyperglycemia and Glucose-Intolerance through Regulation of Intracellular Signaling Pathways and Glycogen Synthesis in WNIN/GR-Ob Obese Rat Model.

  • Jeyakumar, Shanmugam M. (Lipid Biochemistry Division, National Institute of Nutrition) ;
  • Sheril, Alex (Lipid Biochemistry Division, National Institute of Nutrition) ;
  • Vajreswari, Ayyalasomayajula (Lipid Biochemistry Division, National Institute of Nutrition)
  • Received : 2017.02.03
  • Accepted : 2017.08.02
  • Published : 2017.09.30


Vitamin A and its metabolites modulate insulin resistance and regulate stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), which are also known to affect insulin resistance. Here, we tested, whether vitamin A-mediated changes in insulin resistance markers are associated with SCD1 regulation or not. For this purpose, 30-week old male lean and glucose-intolerant obese rats of WNIN/GR-Ob strain were given either a stock or vitamin A-enriched diet, i.e. 2.6 mg or 129 mg vitamin A/kg diet, for 14 weeks. Compared to the stock diet, vitamin A-enriched diet feeding improved hyperglycemia and glucose-clearance rate in obese rats and no such changes were seen in lean rats receiving identical diets. These changes were corroborated with concomitant increase in circulatory insulin and glycogen levels of liver and muscle (whose insulin signaling pathway genes were up-regulated) in obese rats. Further, the observed increase in muscle glycogen content in these obese rats could be explained by increased levels of the active form of glycogen synthase, the key regulator of glycogen synthesis pathway, possibly inactivated through increased phosphorylation of its upstream inhibitor, glycogen synthase kinase. However, the unaltered hepatic SCD1 protein expression (despite decreased mRNA level) and increased muscle-SCD1 expression (both at gene and protein levels) suggest that vitamin A-mediated changes on glucose metabolism are not associated with SCD1 regulation. Chronic consumption of vitamin A-enriched diet improved hyperglycemia and glucose-intolerance, possibly, through the regulation of intracellular signaling and glycogen synthesis pathways of muscle and liver, but not associated with SCD1.


retinoids;adipose tissue;insulin;glucose homeostasis;gene expression


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