PloS one

Fumaric acid esters can block pro-inflammatory actions of human CRP and ameliorate metabolic disturbances in transgenic spontaneously hypertensive rats.

PMID 25010431


Inflammation and oxidative stress have been implicated in the pathogenesis of metabolic disturbances. Esters of fumaric acid, mainly dimethyl fumarate, exhibit immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative effects. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that fumaric acid ester (FAE) treatment of an animal model of inflammation and metabolic syndrome, the spontaneously hypertensive rat transgenically expressing human C-reactive protein (SHR-CRP), will ameliorate inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic disturbances. We studied the effects of FAE treatment by administering Fumaderm, 10 mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks, to male SHR-CRP. Untreated male SHR-CRP rats were used as controls. All rats were fed a high sucrose diet. Compared to untreated controls, rats treated with FAE showed significantly lower levels of endogenous CRP but not transgenic human CRP, and amelioration of inflammation (reduced levels of serum IL6 and TNFα) and oxidative stress (reduced levels of lipoperoxidation products in liver, heart, kidney, and plasma). FAE treatment was also associated with lower visceral fat weight and less ectopic fat accumulation in liver and muscle, greater levels of lipolysis, and greater incorporation of glucose into adipose tissue lipids. Analysis of gene expression profiles in the liver with Affymetrix arrays revealed that FAE treatment was associated with differential expression of genes in pathways that involve the regulation of inflammation and oxidative stress. These findings suggest potentially important anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and metabolic effects of FAE in a model of inflammation and metabolic disturbances induced by human CRP.