Metabolic Effects of Oral Phenelzine Treatment on High-Sucrose-Drinking Mice

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 25;19(10):2904. doi: 10.3390/ijms19102904.


Phenelzine has been suggested to have an antiobesity effect by inhibiting de novo lipogenesis, which led us to investigate the metabolic effects of oral chronic phenelzine treatment in high-sucrose-drinking mice. Sucrose-drinking mice presented higher body weight gain and adiposity versus controls. Phenelzine addition did not decrease such parameters, even though fat pad lipid content and weights were not different from controls. In visceral adipocytes, phenelzine did not impair insulin-stimulated de novo lipogenesis and had no effect on lipolysis. However, phenelzine reduced the mRNA levels of glucose transporters 1 and 4 and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT), and altered circulating levels of free fatty acids (FFA) and glycerol. Interestingly, glycemia was restored in phenelzine-treated mice, which also had higher insulinaemia. Phenelzine-treated mice presented higher rectal temperature, which was associated to reduced mRNA levels of uncoupling protein 1 in brown adipose tissue. Furthermore, unlike sucrose-drinking mice, hepatic malondialdehyde levels were not altered. In conclusion, although de novo lipogenesis was not inhibited by phenelzine, the data suggest that the ability to re-esterify FFA is impaired in iWAT. Moreover, the effects on glucose homeostasis and oxidative stress suggest that phenelzine could alleviate obesity-related alterations and deserves further investigation in obesity models.

Keywords: adipocyte; amine oxidases; hydrogen peroxide; hyperglycemia; lipogenesis; obesity; oxidative stress; phenelzine.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, White / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism
  • Adiposity / drug effects
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phenelzine / administration & dosage
  • Phenelzine / therapeutic use*
  • Sucrose / adverse effects*
  • Sucrose / metabolism
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Sucrose
  • Phenelzine

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