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BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular complications of obesity and diabetes are major health problems. Assessing their development, their link with ectopic fat deposition and their flexibility with therapeutic intervention is essential. The aim of this study was to longitudinally investigate cardiac alterations and ectopic fat accumulation associated with diet-induced obesity using multimodal cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in mice. The second objective was to monitor cardiac response to exendin-4 (GLP-1 receptor agonist). METHODS: Male C57BL6R mice subjected to a high fat (35 %) high sucrose (34 %) (HFHSD) or a standard diet (SD) during 4 months were explored every month with multimodal CMR to determine hepatic and myocardial triglyceride content (HTGC, MTGC) using proton MR spectroscopy, cardiac function with cine cardiac MR (CMR) and myocardial perfusion with arterial spin labeling CMR. Furthermore, mice treated with exendin-4 (30 μg/kg SC BID) after 4 months of diet were explored before and 14 days post-treatment with multimodal CMR. RESULTS: HFHSD mice became significantly heavier (+33 %) and displayed glucose homeostasis impairment (1-month) as compared to SD mice, and developed early increase in HTGC (1 month, +59 %) and MTGC (2-month, +63 %). After 3 months, HFHSD mice developed cardiac dysfunction with significantly higher diastolic septum wall thickness (sWtnD) (1.28 ± 0.03 mm vs. 1.12 ± 0.03 mm) and lower cardiac index (0.45 ± 0.06 mL/min/g vs. 0.68 ± 0.07 mL/min/g, p = 0.02) compared to SD mice. A significantly lower cardiac perfusion was also observed (4 months:7.5 ± 0.8 mL/g/min vs. 10.0 ± 0.7 mL/g/min, p = 0.03). Cardiac function at 4 months was negatively correlated to both HTGC and MTGC (p < 0.05). 14-day treatment with Exendin-4 (Ex-4) dramatically reversed all these alterations in comparison with placebo-treated HFHSD. Ex-4 diminished myocardial triglyceride content (-57.8 ± 4.1 %), improved cardiac index (+38.9 ± 10.9 %) and restored myocardial perfusion (+52.8 ± 16.4 %) under isoflurane anesthesia. Interestingly, increased wall thickness and hepatic steatosis reductions were independent of weight loss and glycemia decrease in multivariate analysis (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: CMR longitudinal follow-up of cardiac consequences of obesity and diabetes showed early accumulation of ectopic fat in mice before the occurrence of microvascular and contractile dysfunction. This study also supports a cardioprotective effect of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cardiovasc Magn Reson

Publication Date





Adiposity, Animals, Blood Glucose, Coronary Circulation, Diabetes Mellitus, Diet, High-Fat, Dietary Sucrose, Disease Models, Animal, Exenatide, Fatty Liver, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Heart Diseases, Liver, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine, Male, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Multimodal Imaging, Multivariate Analysis, Myocardial Contraction, Myocardial Perfusion Imaging, Myocardium, Obesity, Peptides, Predictive Value of Tests, Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Recovery of Function, Time Factors, Triglycerides, Venoms, Ventricular Function, Weight Gain