Background and purpose: Muraglitazar, a dual PPARalpha/gamma agonist, caused a robust increase in body weight in db/db mice. The purpose of the study was to see if this increase in weight was due to oedema and/or adipogenesis.
Experimental approach: The affinity of muraglitazar at PPARalpha/gamma receptors was characterized using transactivation assays. Pre-adipocyte differentiation, expression of genes for adipogenesis (aP2), fatty acid oxidation (ACO) and sodium reabsorption (ENaCgamma and Na+, K+-ATPase); haemodilution parameters and serum electrolytes were measured to delineate the role of muraglitazar in causing weight gain vis a vis rosiglitazone.
Key results: Treatment with muraglitazar (10 mg kg(-1)) for 14 days significantly reduced plasma glucose and triglycerides. Reduction in plasma glucose was significantly greater than after similar treatment with rosiglitazone (10 mg kg(-1)). A marked increase in weight was also observed with muraglitazar that was significantly greater than with rosiglitazone. Muraglitazar increased aP2 mRNA and caused adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells similar to rosiglitazone. It also caused a marked increase in ACO mRNA in the liver of the treated mice. Expression of mRNA for ENaCgamma and Na+, K+-ATPase in kidneys was up-regulated after either treatment. Increased serum electrolytes and decreased RBC count, haemoglobin and haematocrit were observed with both muraglitazar and rosiglitazone.
Conclusions and implications: Although muraglitazar has a better glucose lowering profile, it also has a greater potential for weight gain than rosiglitazone. In conclusion, muraglitazar causes both robust adipogenesis and oedema in a 14-day treatment of db/db mice as observed in humans.