[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postmenopausal women tend to have a higher risk in developing obesity and thus metabolic syndrome. Recently we could demonstrate that physical activity and estrogen replacement are effective strategies to prevent the development of nutritional induced obesity in an animal model. The aim of this study was to determine the combined effects of estrogen treatment and exercise training on already established obesity. Therefore ovariectomized (OVX) and sham-operated (SHAM) female Wistar rats were exposed to a high fat diet for ten months. After this induction period obese SHAM and OVX rats either remained sedentary or performed treadmill training for six weeks. In addition OVX rats were treated with 17β-Estradiol (E(2)) alone, or in combination with training. Before and after intervention effects on lipid and glucose metabolism were investigated. Training resulted in SHAM and OVX rats in a significant decrease of body weight, subcutaneous and visceral body fat, size of adipocytes and the serum levels of leptin, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides. In OVX animals E(2) treatment resulted in similar effects. Often the combination of E(2) treatment and training was most effective. Analysis of the respiratory quotient indicates that SHAM animals had a better fat burning capacity than OVX rats. There was a tendency that training in SHAM animals and E(2) treatment in OVX animals could improve this capacity. Analysis of glucose metabolism revealed that obese SHAM animals had higher glucose tolerance than OVX animals. Training improved glucose tolerance in SHAM and OVX rats, E(2) treatment in OVX rats. The combination of both was most effective. Our results indicate that even after a short intervention period of six weeks E(2) treatment and exercise training improve parameters related to lipid as well as glucose metabolism and energy expenditure in a model of already established obesity. In conclusion a combination of hormone replacement therapy and exercise training could be a very effective strategy to encourage the therapy of diet-induced obesity and its metabolic consequences in postmenopausal women.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology