Effects of a unique conjugate of α-lipoic acid and γ-linolenic acid on insulin action in obese Zucker rats

J. Anthony Peth, Tyson R. Kinnick, Erik B. Youngblood, Hans J. Tritschler, Erik J. Henriksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to assess the individual and interactive effects of the antioxidant α-lipoic acid (LPA) and the n-6 essential fatty acid γ-linolenic acid (GLA) on insulin action in insulin-resistant obese Zucker rats. LPA, GLA, and a unique conjugate consisting of equimolar parts of LPA and GLA (LPA-GLA) were administered for 14 days at 10, 30, or 50 mg·kg body wt-1·day-1. Whereas LPA was without effect at 10 mg/kg, at 30 and 50 mg/kg it elicited 23% reductions (P < 0.05) in the glucose-insulin index (the product of glucose and insulin areas under the curve during an oral glucose tolerance test and an index of peripheral insulin action) that were associated with significant increases in insulin-mediated (2 mU/ml) glucose transport activity in isolated epitrochlearis (63-65%) and soleus (33-41%) muscles. GLA at 10 and 30-mg/kg caused 21-25% reductions in the glucose-insulin index and 23-35% improvements in insulin-mediated glucose transport in epitrochlearis muscle. The beneficial effects of GLA disappeared at 50 mg/kg. At 10 and 30 mg/kg, the LPA-GLA conjugate elicited 29 and 38% reductions in the glucose-insulin index. These LPA-GLA-induced improvements in whole body insulin action were accompanied by 28-63 and 38-57% increases in insulin-mediated glucose transport in epitrochlearis and soleus muscles and resulted from the additive effects of LPA and GLA. At 50 mg/kg, the metabolic improvements due to LPA-GLA were substantially reduced. In summary, these results indicate that the conjugate of the antioxidant LPA and the n-6 essential fatty acid GLA elicits significant dose-dependent improvements in whole body and skeletal muscle insulin action on glucose disposal in insulin- resistant obese Zucker rats. Moreover, these actions of LPA-GLA are due to the additive effects of its individual components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R453-R459
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 47-2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000



  • Antioxidant
  • Essential fatty acid
  • Insulin resistance
  • Muscle glucose transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this