Molecular mechanisms, responsible for the impaired insulin-sensitivity state due to the obesity are not fully understood in both humans and animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of castration-induced visceral obesity and the influence of two antioxidants on constituents of blood lipid profile and insulin sensitivity in New Zealand white rabbits. Twenty-six clinically healthy male New Zealand white rabbits were used in the experiment and were divided into 3 groups: first group (CI, n= 7) - castrated-obese and treated with antioxidants "Immunoprotect" for 2 months; second group (CO, n= 7) - castrated-obese; third group (NC, n= 12) - control group (non-castrated, non-obese). At the end of the follow-up period of 2 months after castration an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) was performed after a 12-h fasting period as the blood samples for determination of glucose and insulin and their kinetic parameters were obtained at 5 and 0 min before and at 5, 10, 30, 60 and 120 min after the infusion of the glucose. The constituents of lipid profile, triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC) and HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) were also assessed in the overnight fasting blood samples. The body weight (BW), body mass index (BMI), amount of the visceral fat (VF) and VF/BW ratio were both measured and calculated before the IVGTT and at the end of the experimental period. All measured markers of obesity (BW, BMI, VF, VF/BW) were significantly higher in both groups of castrated rabbits than in the control group. Apart HDL-C, the plasma concentrations of all constituents of lipid profile (TG, TC, HDL-C) were the highest in CO group. There were generally no differences between CI and NC groups for the same traits. After glucose injection blood glucose concentrations and glucose and insulin kinetic parameters were considerably higher (except of glucose elimination rate) in CO rabbits than in NC ones. Castrated rabbits treated with "Immunoprotect" showed lower fasting plasma insulin and improved glucose kinetics dynamics than CO rabbits, but commensurable values of glucose and insulin kinetics parameters than NC group. The results of the current study clearly indicated that castration-induced visceral obesity affected negatively the lipid profile and insulin sensitivity and/or responsiveness. Treatment with antioxidant supplementation, consisted of d-limonene and vitamin E, improved blood lipid profile, fatty liver, glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in obese rabbits. In addition, based on our results we may suggest that castrated male New Zealand white rabbits might be considered as an appropriate animal model to study various metabolic abnormalities related to visceral obesity, such as dyslipidemia and impaired insulin sensitivity.

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Research in Veterinary Science
Sprott School of Business

Georgiev, I.P. (Ivan Penchev), Georgieva, T.M. (Teodora Mircheva), Ivanov, V. (Veselin), Dimitrova, S. (Sylviya), Kanelov, I. (Ivan), Vlaykova, T. (Tatyana), … Roussenov, T. (Anton). (2011). Effects of castration-induced visceral obesity and antioxidant treatment on lipid profile and insulin sensitivity in New Zealand white rabbits. Research in Veterinary Science, 90(2), 196–204. doi:10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.05.023