Fenofibrate prevents and reduces body weight gain and adiposity in diet-induced obese rats

FEBS Lett. 2001 Feb 23;491(1-2):154-8. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(01)02146-9.


Fibrates are hypolipidemic drugs that activate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. Since fibrates may also increase energy expenditure, we investigated whether fenofibrate (FF) had this effect in diet-induced obese rats. A 2-month administration of a high-fat palatable diet to adult rats increased body weight by 25% and white adipose mass by 163% compared with a standard diet. These effects were prevented by FF, both when administered for the 2 months of high-fat feeding and when given for only the second month. Consequently, FF-treated rats had a final body weight and white adipose tissue mass similar to untreated animals on the standard diet. FF also increased resting metabolic rate, hepatic peroxisomal and mitochondrial palmitoyl-dependent oxygen uptake and mRNA levels of acyl-CoA oxidase and lipoprotein lipase. Finally, FF lowered mRNA levels of uncoupling protein-2 and did not affect mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle. Therefore, FF seems to act as a weight-stabilizer mainly through its effect on liver metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fenofibrate / pharmacology*
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / pharmacology
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / ultrastructure
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Uncoupling Agents / pharmacology


  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • Uncoupling Agents
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases
  • Fenofibrate