Oral salmon calcitonin protects against impaired fasting glycemia, glucose intolerance, and obesity induced by high-fat diet and ovariectomy in rats

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Oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The postmenopausal state is also associated with obesity-related insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the preventive effects of oral sCT on energy and glucose homeostasis in high-fat diet (HFD)– and ovariectomy (OVX)–induced obese rats. Furthermore, the weight-regulatory and gluco-regulatory effects of short-term oral sCT intervention on HFD-induced obese rats were explored.


For prevention, female rats exposed to HFD with or without OVX were treated with oral sCT for 5 weeks. As intervention, HFD-induced obese male rats were treated with oral sCT for 4 days. Body weight, food intake, and plasma glucose, insulin, and leptin levels were measured, and the clinical homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index was calculated. In addition, oral glucose tolerance was evaluated in the systemic and portal circulations.


For prevention, oral sCT reduced body weight by ∼16% to 19% (P < 0.001), reduced plasma insulin and leptin by ∼50%, and improved impaired fasting glycemia (P < 0.05) concomitantly with amelioration of IR (HOMA-IR; P < 0.01) in HFD- and OVX-induced obesity. Furthermore, oral sCT significantly reduced the incremental area under the curve for plasma glucose and insulin by ∼40% and ∼70%, respectively, during glucose tolerance testing. As intervention in HFD-induced obese rats, oral sCT reduced body weight, fasting glycemia, and insulinemia in conjunction with HOMA-IR (P < 0.001). Finally, oral sCT alleviated glucose intolerance predominantly in the portal circulation.


Oral sCT treatment displays weight-regulatory and glucoregulatory efficacy in HFD- and OVX-induced obese rats, indicating the clinical usefulness of oral sCT in postmenopausal obesity-related IR and type 2 diabetes.

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