Vitamin D3 deficiency was found to be tightly linked to many health problems including metabolic syndrome, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In our study, we tested the possible antidiabetic effects of one of vitamin D3 analogs, alfacalcidol, solely or in a combination with metformin on type 2 diabetic rats. Type 2 diabetic model rats were induced by feeding high-fat diet for 4 weeks followed by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. In addition to the control group, the diabetic rats were divided into four groups: untreated, metformin-treated, alfacalcidol-treated, and combination-treated group (metformin + alfacalcidol) for 4 weeks. The level of fasting blood glucose, fasting serum insulin, homeostatic model of insulin resistance, serum lipid profile, liver enzymes, calcium, phosphorus, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 were also determined. Besides, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and vitamin D receptors (VDR) gene expression at mRNA and protein levels were evaluated. The level of significance was fixed at P ≤ 0.05 for all statistical tests. Alfacalcidol, solely or combined with metformin, significantly ameliorated glucose homeostasis and lipid profile parameters (P < 0.001) with a neutral effect on calcium and phosphorus levels. Significant downregulation of mRNA expression of SREBP-1c in the liver, white as well as brown adipose tissues (P < 0.001) and different patterns of mRNA expression of VDR gene in pancreas and white adipose tissue were observed in rats treated with alfacalcidol solely or in combination with metformin. Vitamin D3 analogs can modulate glucose parameters and lipid metabolism in a diabetic rat model and it provides additional protective effects when combined with metformin.
Alfacalcidol Diabetes SREBP-1c Vitamin D receptors
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This study has been carried out at Medical Research Institute, Alexandria, Egypt, and under the supervision of professors of Biochemistry.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
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