Whole body hyperthermia improves obesity-induced insulin resistance in diabetic mice

Int J Hyperthermia. 2007 May;23(3):259-65. doi: 10.1080/02656730601176824.


Aim: In this study, we examined the efficacy of whole body hyperthermia (WBH) on obesity-induced insulin resistance in diabetic mice.

Methods: Male db/db mice were treated with WBH 3 times per week for 12 weeks. The rectal temperature of mice reached 38.0 degrees C 5 min after heating, and was kept at 38.0 degrees C for 30 min. At the end of each week, tail snip glucose levels were determined under fasting conditions. The GLUT-4 gene expression of muscle tissue was analyzed by real-time PCR.

Results: (1) WBH-treated db/db mice showed a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose level as compared with untreated db/db mice (p < 0.01). (2) Plasma insulin levels in untreated db/db mice at the age of 10 weeks were significantly increased compared with those of db/+ mice (p < 0.0001). On the other hand, the reduction (31%) in insulin levels in WBH-treated mice indicated improved insulin sensitivity. (3) The ability of WBH to increase insulin sensitivity was further established in glucose tolerance tests and insulin tolerance tests. (4) Urine albumin of db/db mice significantly increased compared with those of db/+ mice at 18 weeks of age (p < 0.001). This increase in urinary albumin was significantly inhibited by WBH (p < 0.01). (5) WBH up-regulated the expression of GLUT4 mRNA in skeletal muscle.

Conclusion: Although the mechanisms have not yet been completely investigated, WBH may provide a new therapeutic or preventive modality against obesity-related diseases such as T2DM and metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Slc2a4 protein, mouse
  • Triglycerides