Obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome and increased incidence of and mortality from myocardial infarction. The aim of the present study was to develop an animal model with metabolic syndrome and examine how that influences size of myocardial infarcts induced by occlusion and reperfusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Sprague–Dawley rats (n=105) were fed either LF (low-fat) or MHF (moderately high-fat) diets for 13 weeks before coronary occlusion for 45 min, followed by reperfusion for 60 min. Compared with LF-fed and lean MHF-fed rats, obese MHF-fed rats developed metabolic disturbances similar to those seen in the metabolic syndrome, including being overweight by 24% (compared with lean MHF-fed rats), having 74% more visceral fat (compared with LF-fed rats), 15% higher blood pressure (compared with LF-fed rats), 116% higher plasma insulin (compared with lean MHF-fed rats), 10% higher fasting plasma glucose (compared with LF-fed rats), 35% higher non-fasting plasma glucose (compared with lean MHF-fed rats), 36% higher plasma leptin (compared with lean MHF-fed rats) and a tendency to lower plasma adiponectin and higher plasma non-esterified fatty acids. Infarct size was similar in the three groups of rats (36±14, 42±18 and 41±14% in obese MHF-fed, lean MHF-fed and LF-fed rats respectively). In conclusion, rats fed a MHF diet developed metabolic syndrome, but this did not influence myocardial infarct size.

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