Intermittent Fasting Improves Glucose Tolerance and Promotes Adipose Tissue Remodeling in Male Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet

Endocrinology. 2019 Jan 1;160(1):169-180. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00701.


Obesity is associated with increased macrophage and extracellular matrix accumulation in adipose tissue, which can be partially reversed following weight loss by daily caloric restriction. This study examined the effects of 8 weeks of intermittent fasting (IF; 24-hour fast on 3 nonconsecutive days per week) in mice fed a chow or high-fat diet (HFD; 43% fat) on markers of adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis. We found that IF decreased energy intake, body weight, and fat cell size in HFD-fed mice and decreased fat mass and improved glucose tolerance in chow- and HFD-fed mice. IF decreased mRNA levels of macrophage markers (Lgals3, Itgax, Ccl2, and Ccl3) in inguinal and gonadal fat, as well as adipose tissue macrophage numbers in HFD-fed mice only, and altered genes involved in NLRP3 inflammasome pathway in both diet groups. IF increased mRNA levels of matrix metallopeptidase 9, which is involved in extracellular matrix degradation, and reduced mRNA levels of collagen 6 α-1 and tissue inhibitor of matrix metallopeptidase 1, as well as fibrosis in gonadal fat in HFD-fed mice. In summary, our results show that intermittent fasting improved glucose tolerance in chow- and HFD-fed mice and ameliorated adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis in HFD-fed mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • CD11 Antigens / genetics
  • CD11 Antigens / metabolism
  • Chemokine CCL3 / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL3 / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Energy Intake
  • Fasting / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / physiopathology


  • Blood Glucose
  • CD11 Antigens
  • Chemokine CCL3
  • Itgax protein, mouse
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9