HOW CHOCOLATE CAN REDUCE FIBROSIS IN TYPE 2 DIABETES
Lila Peltekian, Katrina Yamazaki.
California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
Studies have shown that heart failure is among the top ten leading causes of death in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes (T2D). Mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetic hearts has been shown to lead to cardiac cell death and eventually fibrosis. Fibrosis is the buildup of collagen due to cell death, thereby decreasing the contractility and elasticity of the heart leading to heart failure. In this study, we looked at the effects of (-)-epicatechin (EPI),found in dark chocolate, on reducing the progression of type 2 diabetes and fibrosis in vivo. T2D was induced by feeding rats a high energy diet (HED) consisting of 10% lard and 20% glucose mixed with their normal chow. Animals were treated with EPI (1 mg/kg/day) or water by oral gavage daily. Body weights and plasma glucose levels were measured weekly to monitor the progression of T2D. Our results demonstrated that the diabetic animals had significant weight gain (~44%) and increased blood glucose levels (519 mg/dL) compared to control animals (37% and 185 mg/dL, respectively). EPI significantly reduced changes in body weight (~33%) and blood glucose levels (351.2 mg/dL) compared to diabetic animals. Histological analysis using Masson’s trichrome stain showed that diabetic hearts contained more collagen than the control hearts, which shows the progression of fibrosis. In addition, Nile-red data shows the presence of lipid droplets, further showing the progression of fibrosis in the hearts. In conclusion, our results demonstrate the ability of EPI to reduce body weight, plasma glucose levels, and fibrosis in T2D.