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Protective effect of Vitamin D on Cardiac Mitochondrial Apoptotic pathway in Rats fed with high fat diet

Author(s): Khadeejah Mesaid Al-Solami, Zienab Alrefaie, Hossam Awad

Background: Both diet quality and vitamin D status are important factors associated with many cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiac mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis has been associated with those factors. The current work aimed to assess the effect of chronic consumption of high fat diet (HFD) on the cardiac markers of mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis and whether vitamin D supplementation with high fat diet (HFD) would alter the expression of these markers.

Materials and methods: A total of 25 rats were grouped as follows: Control Group: received the standard diet (10% fat) for 6 months (n= 5). High fat diet (HFD) fed group: received high fat diet (HFD) (45% fat) for 6 months (n=10), High fat diet (HFD) fed group with vitamin D: received HFD for 6 months with vitamin D 400 IU/kg/day oral gavage (n=10). Body weight and body mass index (BMI) were assessed at the start, at the interval of every 45 days and at the culmination of the experiment. After the experiment, heart specimens were prepared as per the protocol for the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) based analysis.

Results: The BAX (BCL2 Associated X, Apoptosis Regulator) gene was found to be expressed highly in the group of high fat diet (HFD) fed rats for 6 months, and BCL2 up-regulation and BAX down regulation was observed in rats fed high fat diet (HFD) containing vitamin D.

Conclusion: The findings of the present study confirm the negative influence of high fat diet (HFD) intake on cardiomyocytes, as well as the beneficial effects of supplementation with vitamin D on mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis.