Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats were developed as a model of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) with mild obesity. We reported that the daily profiles of energy expenditure associated with two peaks (one between 05:00 and 08:00 and the other between 20:00 and 22:00) were observed at 8 weeks of age (without NIDDM), while these two peaks disappeared at 24 weeks of age with NIDDM. As a new anti-diabetic drug, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ agonist pioglitazone hydrochloride has been developed, we examined whether pioglitazone normalized daily profiles of energy expenditure at 24 weeks of age. A control diet and pioglitazone (0.1%)-containing diet were fed from 6 weeks of age. The two peaks of daily profiles of energy expenditure, which disappeared in OLETF rats with the control diet at 24 weeks of age, were reproduced by administration of pioglitazone. The respiratory quotient was lower and fat derived energy used for combustion was increased by pioglitazone at both ages. The body weight, daily food intake, plasma levels of fat, insulin, leptin and the wet weight of visceral fat were not influenced, but the levels of blood hemoglobin A1c and plasma tumor necrosis factor α were decreased by pioglitazone. Administration of pioglitazone improved daily profiles of energy expenditure via affecting glucose and fat metabolisms.
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