Fenofibrate and rosiglitazone lower serum triglycerides with opposing effects on body weight

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 May 10;271(2):445-50. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2000.2647.


Activators of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) are effective drugs to improve the metabolic abnormalities linking hypertriglyceridemia to diabetes, hyperglycemia, insulin-resistance, and atherosclerosis. We compared the pharmacological profile of a PPARalpha activator, fenofibrate, and a PPARgamma activator, rosiglitazone, on serum parameters, target gene expression, and body weight gain in (fa/fa) fatty Zucker rats and db/db mice as well as their association in db/db mice. Fenofibrate faithfully modified the expression of PPARalpha responsive genes. Rosiglitazone increased adipose tissue aP2 mRNA in both models while increasing liver acyl CoA oxidase mRNA in db/db mice but not in fatty Zucker rats. Both drugs lowered serum triglycerides yet rosiglitazone markedly increased body weight gain while fenofibrate decreased body weight gain in fatty Zucker rats. KRP 297, which has been reported to be a PPARalpha and gamma co-activator, also affected serum triglycerides and insulin in fatty Zucker rats although no change in body weight gain was noted. These results serve to clearly differentiate the metabolic finality of two distinct classes of drugs, as well as their corresponding nuclear receptors, having similar effects on serum triglycerides.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acyl-CoA Oxidase
  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / metabolism
  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Apolipoproteins C / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Protein 7
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Fenofibrate / pharmacology*
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Myelin P2 Protein / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Zucker
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*
  • Thiazolidinediones*
  • Thiazolidines
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Apolipoproteins C
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Fabp5 protein, mouse
  • Fabp7 protein, mouse
  • Fabp7 protein, rat
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Protein 7
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Myelin P2 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Thiazoles
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Thiazolidines
  • Transcription Factors
  • Triglycerides
  • Rosiglitazone
  • 5-((2,4-dioxo-5-thiazolidinyl)methyl)-2-methoxy-N-((4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)methyl)benzamide
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Acyl-CoA Oxidase
  • Fenofibrate