Publications by authors named "Fernanda Ballerini Hecht"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Agomelatine reduces circulating triacylglycerides and hepatic steatosis in fructose-treated rats.

Biomed Pharmacother 2021 Jun 11;141:111807. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, 105 Alexander Flemming St., Zip Code: 13083-881, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Agomelatine (AGO) is an antidepressant drug with agonistic activity at melatonin receptor 1 (MT1) and MT2 and with neutral antagonistic activity at serotonin receptor 5-HT2. Although experimental studies show that melatonin reduces hypertriglyceridemia and hepatic steatosis induced by excessive fructose intake, no studies have tested if AGO exerts similar actions. To address this issue we have treated male Wistar rats with fructose (15% in the drinking water) and/or AGO (40 mg/kg/day) for two weeks. AGO reduced body weight gain, feeding efficiency and hepatic lipid levels without affecting caloric intake in fructose-treated rats. AGO has also decreased very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) production and circulating TAG levels after an oral load with olive oil. Accordingly, treatment with AGO reduced the hepatic expression of fatty acid synthase (Fasn), a limiting step for hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNLG). The expression of apolipoprotein B (Apob) and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (Mttp) in the ileum, two crucial proteins for intestinal lipoprotein production, were also downregulated by treatment with AGO. Altogether, the present data show that AGO mimics the metabolic benefits of melatonin when used in fructose-treated rats. This study also suggests that it is relevant to evaluate the potential of AGO to treat metabolic disorders in future clinical trials.
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June 2021

Dexamethasone programs lower fatty acid absorption and reduced PPAR-γ and fat/CD36 expression in the jejunum of the adult rat offspring.

Life Sci 2021 Jan 13;265:118765. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, 105 Alexander Flemming St., Campinas, SP 13083-881, Brazil. Electronic address:

The progeny of rats born and breastfed by mothers receiving dexamethasone (DEX) during pregnancy exhibits permanent reduction in body weight and adiposity but the precise mechanisms related to this programming are not fully understood. In order to clarify this issue, the present study investigated key aspects of lipoprotein production and lipid metabolism by the liver and the intestine that would explain the reduced adiposity seen in the adult offspring exposed to DEX in utero. Female Wistar rats were treated with DEX (0.1 mg/kg/day) between the 15th and the 21st days of pregnancy, while control mothers were treated with vehicle. Male offspring born to control mothers were nursed by either adoptive control mothers (CTL/CTL) or DEX-treated mothers (CTL/DEX). Male offspring born to DEX-treated mothers were nursed by either control mothers (DEX/CTL) or adoptive DEX-treated mothers (DEX/DEX). We found that only the male DEX/DEX offspring had reduced adiposity. Additionally, male DEX/DEX progeny had lower circulating triacylglycerol (TAG) levels only in fed-state. The four groups of offspring presented similar energy expenditure, respiratory quotient and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) production. On the other hand, DEX/DEX rats displayed reduced TAG levels after gavage with olive oil and reduced expression of fatty acid translocase Cd36 (Fat/Cd36) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (Pparg) in the jejunum. Altogether, our study supports the notion that reduced fat absorption by the jejunum may contribute to the lower adiposity of the adult offspring born and breastfed by mothers treated with DEX during pregnancy.
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January 2021