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Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2022

“Treatment with NSAID, but not steroid, curbs inflammation in adipose and pancreas during pre-hibernation fattening in ground squirrels”

Jewel Zur Tulod

Graduate Student, Biology


As part of their annual cycle, 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) fatten during the summer months in preparation for hibernation. We have shown that this rapid adiposity is associated with inflammation in metabolic tissues. In this study, we fed fattening ground squirrels diets containing anti-inflammatory drugs for 10 weeks in the summer in an attempt to curb that inflammation and adiposity. The diets contained either the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) mesalazine (to a dose of ~500 mg/kg) or the steroid budesonide (to a dose of ~1 mg/kg). Neither treatment influenced body mass, caloric intake or glucose tolerance. Mesalazine, but not budesonide, significantly decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in omental white adipose tissue (oWAT) and pancreas. Furthermore, mesalazine, but not budesonide, increased levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in the oWAT. This suggests that mesalazine treatment can be an effective method to curb metabolic inflammation associated with fattening. Further studies are needed to optimize the dose and timing of treatment in order to also affect fattening in this species. Supported by NIH award 1R15GM124586-01A1.

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