This study evaluates the protective effect of Juniperus chinensis hot water extract (JCE) against high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity and its molecular mechanisms in the visceral adipose tissue of rats. JCE supplementation significantly lowered body weight gain, visceral fat-pad weights, blood lipid levels, and blood insulin and leptin levels of rats rendered obese by an HFD. Feeding with JCE significantly reversed the HFD-induced down-regulation of the epididymal adipose tissue genes implicated in adipogenesis, such as the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors γ2 (PPARγ2), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP1c), fatty acid synthase (FAS), and HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR), as well as those involved in uncoupled respiration, such as the uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3). Dietary supplementation with JCE also reversed the HFD-induced decreases in the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 (ACC2) expressions at both the mRNA and protein levels and restored the HFD-induced inhibitions in the AMPK and ACC2 phosphorylation, which are related to fatty acid β-oxidation, in the epididymal adipose tissue. This study reports, for the first time, that the JCE can have an anti-obesity effect in a rodent model with HFD-induced obesity through an enhanced gene transcription of the uncoupling protein as well as an elevated AMPK protein expression and phosphorylation in the visceral adipose tissue.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science