The genetically diabetic mouse (db/db) exhibits hyperphagia, progressive weight gain, hyperglycemia, and hyperinsulinemia during the first few months of life during which time characteristic pathologic changes occur in several organ systems including the kidney. The extent to which long chain fatty acid oxidation (LCFAO) contributes to excessive gluconeogenesis and hyperglycemia in these animals in unknown. Therefore, the synthetic fatty acid analogue 2-tetradeclyglycidate (TDHA), a potent inhibitor of LCFAO, was given orally to db/db mice to evaluate its capacity to control the blood glucose and prevent their diabetic nephropathy. Five groups of diabetic mice (N = 6) were assigned to receive TDGA in a dose of 5, 10, and 25 mg/kg/day, vehicle (tragacanth), or nothing (control). TDGA had no observable effects on food intake or growth patterns. Drug-treated animals had significant lowering of fasting glucose at 0 and 4 h after dosing during the midportion of the study (2–6 wk). In the latter part of the study (wk 8–11), blood glucose 4 h after dosing was lowered in mice given 10 and 25 free fatty acids. Animals receiving TDGA 25 mg/kg/day exhibited significant inhibition of immunopathologic changes in the kidney. Heart weight was significantly increased in mice receiving TDGA 25 mg/kg/day, and the total amount of myocardial carnitine content was increased in all three drug-treated groups. Increased tissue deposition of lipid was not apparent on histologic examination of liver in drug-treated animals.

Inhibition of long chain fat oxidation in the db/db mouse results in significant lowering of blood glucose, and decreases the renal immunopathologic features of diabetic nephropathy in this animal model.

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