In this study we examined the inhibition of hepatic dyslipidemia by Eucommia ulmoides extract (EUE). Using a screening assay for BAX inhibition we determined that EUE regulates BAX-induced cell death. Among various cell death stimuli tested EUE regulated palmitate-induced cell death, which involves lysosomal BAX translocation. EUE rescued palmitate-induced inhibition of lysosomal V-ATPase, α-galactosidase, a-mannosidase, and acid phosphatase, and this effect was reversed by bafilomycin, a lysosomal V-ATPase inhibitor. The active components of EUE, aucubin and geniposide, showed similar inhibition of palmitate-induced cell death to that of EUE through enhancement of lysosome activity. Consistent with these in vitro findings, EUE inhibited the dyslipidemic condition in a high-fat diet animal model by regulating the lysosomal localization of BAX. This study demonstrates that EUE regulates lipotoxicity through a novel mechanism of enhanced lysosomal activity leading to the regulation of lysosomal BAX activation and cell death. Our findings further indicate that geniposide and aucubin, active components of EUE, may be therapeutic candidates for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
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