Grape seed proanthocyanidins and metformin act by different mechanisms to promote insulin signaling in rats fed high calorie diet

J Cell Commun Signal. 2014 Mar;8(1):13-22. doi: 10.1007/s12079-013-0210-x. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Key pathways like insulin signaling, AMP activated kinase (AMPK) activation and inflammatory signaling are involved in the complex pathological network of hepatic insulin resistance. Our aim is to investigate whether grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSP) and metformin (MET) target any of these pathways in insulin resistant rat liver. Albino Wistar rats were rendered insulin resistant by feeding a high fat-fructose diet (HFFD). Either GSP (100 mg/kg b.w), MET(50 mg/kg b.w) or both were administered to insulin resistant rats as therapeutic options. HFFD-feeding caused hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, increased gluconeogenesis, decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor-β(IR-β) and insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) and increased serine phosphorylation of IRS-1. The association of p85α subunit of phosphotidyl inositol 3 kinase(PI3K) with IRS-1 and subsequent Akt phosphorylation were reduced while the expression of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) were increased in HFFD rats. Both MET and GSP reduced hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia and improved glycolysis, tyrosine phosphorylation of IR-β and IRS-1, IRS-1-PI3K association and Akt activation. However, activation of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, leptin and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 and reduction in adiponectin caused by chronic HFFD feeding were reversed by GSP better than by MET. Activation of AMPK by GSP was much less compared to that by MET. These findings suggest that GSP might activate PI3K pathway and promote insulin action by reducing serine kinase activation and cytokine signaling and MET by targeting AMPK. The beneficial effects were enhanced during combination therapy. Thus, combination therapy with MET and GSP may be considered for the management of metabolic syndrome.