Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Browning, Serum Orexin‑A, and Insulin Resistance Following Aerobic Exercise in High‑Fat Diet Obesity Male Wistar Rats

Ebrahim Moslehi, Vazgen Minasian, Heibatollah Sadeghi


Background: Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) relative to the other adipose tissues may have different roles in health and insulin resistance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of aerobic exercise on SAT thermogenesis indices, serum orexin‑A (OXA), and insulin resistance in high‑fat diet‑induced obesity male Wistar rats. Methods: Thirty‑two male Wistar rats with an average weight of 180–200 g were randomly assigned into 4 equal groups: normal fat diet (NFD), high‑fat diet obesity (HFDO), normal fat diet after high‑fat diet obesity (HFDO‑NFD), and aerobic exercise group with normal fat diet after high‑fat diet obesity (HFDO‑AEX). Fasting levels of serum OXA, insulin, FBS, high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, cholesterol and gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC‑1α) and UCP1 in SAT were evaluated. Samples were taken in the HFDO group after obesity‑induced and in other groups 48 h after 8 weeks of aerobic exercise. Results: The results showed that HFD significantly decreased serum levels of OXA, HDL‑c and gene expression of PGC1α and UCP1 in SAT. In addition, it caused a significant increase in Lee index, FBS, insulin resistance, and serum lipid profile in comparison with the NFD group (P ≤ 0.001). Aerobic exercise significantly modified the changes caused by HFD to the normal levels (P ≤ 0.001). Conclusions: These data suggest that aerobic exercise caused an improvement in insulin resistance and blood lipid profiles through an increase in the serum level of OXA and alteration in the SAT phenotype from white to brown or beige.


Aerobic exercise; insulin resistance; obesity; orexin A; subcutaneous adipose tissue

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