Ageing is a major risk factor for the development of metabolic disorders linked to dyslipidemia, usually accompanied by increased adiposity. The goal of this work was to investigate whether avoiding an excessive increase in adiposity with ageing, via moderate chronic food restriction (FR), ameliorates postprandial dyslipidemia in a rat model of metabolic syndrome associated with ageing. Accordingly, we performed an oral lipid loading test (OLLT) in mature middle-aged (7 months) and middle-old-aged (24 months) Wistar rats fed ad libitum (AL) or under moderate FR for 3 months. Briefly, overnight fasted rats were orally administered a bolus of extra-virgin olive oil (1 mL/Kg of body weight) and blood samples were taken from the tail vein before fat load (t = 0) and 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 min after fat administration. Changes in serum lipids, glucose, insulin, and glucagon levels were measured at different time-points. Expression of liver and adipose tissue metabolic genes were also determined before (t = 0) and after the fat load (t = 240 min). Postprandial dyslipidemia progressively increased with ageing and this could be associated with hepatic ChREBP activity. Interestingly, moderate chronic FR reduced adiposity and avoided excessive postprandial hypertriglyceridemia in 7- and 24-month-old Wistar rats, strengthening the association between postprandial triglyceride levels and adiposity. The 24-month-old rats needed more insulin to maintain postprandial normoglycemia; nevertheless, hyperglycemia occurred at 240 min after fat administration. FR did not alter the fasted serum glucose levels but it markedly decreased glucagon excursion during the OLLT and the postprandial rise of glycemia in the 24-month-old rats, and FGF21 in the 7-month-old Wistar rats. Hence, our results pointed to an important role of FR in postprandial energy metabolism and insulin resistance in ageing. Lastly, our data support the idea that the vWAT might function as an ectopic site for fat deposition in 7-month-old and in 24-month-old Wistar rats that could increase their browning capacity in response to an acute fat load.
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