The Anti-Obesity Potential of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles against High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Rats: Possible Involvement of Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Adipose Tissues
Background: Obesity is a pandemic disease that is rapidly growing into a serious health problem and has economic impact on healthcare systems. This bleak image has elicited creative responses, and nanotechnology is a promising approach in obesity treatment. This study aimed to investigate the anti-obesity effect of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) on a high-fat-diet rat model of obesity and compared their effect to a traditional anti-obesity drug (orlistat). Methods: The obese rats were treated daily with orlistat and/or SPIONs once per week for 8 weeks. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected for biochemical assays. Then, the animals were sacrificed to obtain white adipose tissues (WAT) and brown adipose tissues (BAT) for assessment of the expression of thermogenic genes and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA-CN). Results: For the first time, we reported promising ameliorating effects of SPIONs treatments against weight gain, hyperglycemia, adiponectin, leptin, and dyslipidemia in obese rats. At the molecular level, surprisingly, SPIONs treatments markedly corrected the disturbed expression and protein content of inflammatory markers and parameters controlling mitochondrial biogenesis and functions in BAT and WAT. Conclusions: SPIONs have a powerful anti-obesity effect by acting as an inducer of WAT browning and activator of BAT functions.