Repetitive glucose spikes accelerate atherosclerotic lesion formation in C57BL/6 mice

Yuki Shuto, Akira Asai, Mototsugu Nagao, Hitoshi Sugihara, Shinichi Oikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A number of epidemiological studies demonstrated that postprandial hyperglycemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. Although several laboratory studies have addressed the plausible causal role of postprandial acute hyperglycemia (glucose spikes) in the development of atherosclerosis, there is little convincing evidence in vivo whether the atherosclerotic lesion formation can be accelerated solely by glucose spikes. Here, we assessed the effect of repetitive glucose spikes on atherosclerotic lesion formation in mice. Methods: Female C57BL/6 mice were fed an atherogenic diet from 8 to 28 weeks of age. During the atherogenic diet feeding period, the mice orally received a glucose solution (50 mg glucose/mouse; G group) or water (Wgroup) twice daily, 6 days a week. Atherosclerotic lesion formation in the aortic sinus was quantitatively analyzed in serial cross-sections by oil red O staining. Results: G group mice showed transient increases in blood glucose level (∼5 mmol/L aboveW group), and the levels returned to levels similar to those in Wgroup mice within 60 min. No significant differences in glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and plasma lipid profiles were observed after the 20-week repetitive administration between the 2 groups. G group mice showed an approximately 4-fold greater atherosclerotic lesion size in the aortic sinus than W group mice. Gene expression levels of Cd68 and Icam1 in the thoracic aorta were higher in G group mice than in Wgroup mice. Conclusions: These results indicate that glucose spikes can accelerate atherosclerotic lesion formation, with little influence on other metabolic disorders. Repetitive glucose administration in wildtype mice may serve as a simple and useful approach to better understanding the causal role of glycemic spikes in the development of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0136840
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 27

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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