Beneficial effects of glycyrrhizic acid (GA), a bioactive extract of licorice root, in the prevention of metabolic syndrome have been consistently reported while advanced glycation end products (AGE) and receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE) are the leading factors in the development of diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GA on the AGE-RAGE axis using high-fat/high-sucrose (HF/HS) diet-induced metabolic syndrome rat models. Twenty four male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned into three groups for 4 weeks: (1) Group A, normal diet with standard rat chow; (2) Group B, HF/HS diet; (3) Group C, HF/HS diet and oral administration of 100 mg/kg GA per day. The results showed that HF/HS diet elevated the fasting blood glucose level and insulin resistance index which was prevented by GA supplementation. GA treatment significantly lowered the circulating AGE independent of its glucose-lowering effect. HF/HS diet also triggered RAGE upregulation in the abdominal muscles while GA administration downregulated RAGE expression in the abdominal muscles, aorta and subcutaneous adipose tissues. In conclusion, HF/HS diet could cause glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and upregulation of RAGE expression while GA ameliorated the metabolic dysregulation besides exhibiting inhibitory effects on the AGE-RAGE axis.
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