Effects of β-carotene on glucose metabolism dysfunction in human subjects and type 2 diabetic rats

Pharmacology & Taxicology
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Jianjun Wu Department of Cardiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin150001, China ,Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Ministry of Education, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China

Yinan Zhou Department of Digestive internal medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin150001, China

Hanqing Hu Department of Oncology Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin150001, China

Dawei Yang* Department of Orthopedics, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin150001, China

Fan Yang* Department of Cardiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin150001, China ,Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Ministry of Education, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China


Abstract

Background:
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a common chronic disease which is strongly associated with cardiovascular risk. Long-term high blood glucose level may induce cardiomyocytes apoptosis, cardiac dysfunction and fetal cardiomyocytes proliferation. Recent epidemiological studies have shown a link between antioxidant carotenoids and type 2 diabetes, but a comprehensive longitudinal study of this link has not yet been conducted.
Methods:
We included participants who had biological measurements for both serum cis-β-carotene and fasting glucose from NHANES (2001–2006). We divided participants into quartiles by the serum cis-β-carotene levels and supported this associations with glucose metabolism using multivariable regression models adjusted for confounding factors. The mechanism of β-carotene levels in regulating plasma glucose levels were further investigated in vivo and in vitro. In addtion, we have carried out a preliminary exploration of the effect of β-carotene on diabetic rat and primary cariomyocytes.
Results:
We found that the higher cis-β-carotene (Q4) had a higher LDL-C level but with a lower fasting blood glucose. However, T2DM rats with β-carotene treatment showed decreased total triglycerides and LDL-c. β-carotene showed better cardiac function in DM+ group compared with diabetes groups (P<0.05). Our results also revealed that β-carotene to be an important protective factor of improving cardiac and mitochondrial function with diabetes exposure. At non-cytotoxic doses, β-carotene significantly increased glucose uptake in insulin-resistant cells. This potential effect is mediated by inducing the expression of GLUT4, the level of p-Akt and attenuating the phosphorylation of IRS-1. The analysis of gene expressions of PGC-1β and Nrf-1 showed a concordance between mitochondrial DNA content in PA-induced cardiomyocytes with or without β-carotene treatment, respectively.
Conclusion:
Our results indicate that β-carotene can treat metabolic disorders by inhibition of IR pa
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