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PPAR Research
Volume 2018, Article ID 4292509, 8 pages
Research Article

Treatment with Lobeglitazone Attenuates Hepatic Steatosis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice

1Department of Medical Science, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Republic of Korea
2Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Bon Jeong Ku;

Received 10 October 2017; Revised 22 January 2018; Accepted 20 May 2018; Published 13 June 2018

Academic Editor: Ruth Roberts

Copyright © 2018 Sorim Choung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with insulin resistance. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) activators, thiazolidinediones, (TZDs), are insulin sensitizers used as a treatment for NAFLD. However, TZDs are a controversial treatment for NAFLD because of conflicting results regarding hepatic steatosis and fibrosis. To evaluate a possible effective drug for treatment of NAFLD, we investigated the effects of a newly developed TZD, lobeglitazone, with an emphasis on hepatic lipid metabolism. Lobeglitazone treatment for 4 weeks in high fat diet- (HFD-) induced obese mice (HL group) improved insulin resistance and glucose intolerance compared to HFD-induced obese mice (HU group). The gene levels related to hepatic gluconeogenesis also decreased after treatment by lobeglitazone. The livers of mice in the HL group showed histologically reduced lipid accumulation, with lowered total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, the HL group significantly decreased the hepatic expression of genes associated with lipid synthesis, cholesterol biosynthesis, and lipid droplet development and increased the hepatic expression of genes associated with fatty acid β-oxidation, thus suggesting that lobeglitazone decreased hepatic steatosis and reversed hepatic lipid dysregulation. Livers with steatohepatitis contained increased levels of PPARγ and phosphorylated PPARγ at serine 273, leading to downregulation of expression of genes associated with insulin sensitivity. Notably, the treatment of lobeglitazone increased the protein levels of PPARα and diminished levels of PPARγ phosphorylated at serine 273, which were increased by a HFD, suggesting that induction of PPARα and posttranslational modification of PPARγ in livers by lobeglitazone might be an underlying mechanism of the improvement seen in NAFLD. Taken together, our data showed that lobeglitazone might be an effective treatment for NAFLD.