Background & aims: Licochalcone (lico) F is a novel synthetic retrochalcone. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of lico F in vitro, and its effects on obesity-induced chronic inflammation, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver in vivo. Methods: The inhibitory effects of lico F on TNFα-induced inflammation were investigated using NF-κB luciferase reporter assay and RT-PCR. Diet-induced obese mice were treated orally, once per day, with vehicle or lico F (10 mg/kg/day), for 3 weeks, and blood, liver, and adipose tissues were analyzed. Results: Lico F inhibited TNFα-induced NF-κB activation and mRNA expression of TNFα, COX-2, IL-6, IL-1β, and NOS2. In obese mice, lico F administration significantly alleviated glucose tolerance without changes in body weight gain and food intake. Lico F reduced adipocyte size and macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue and improved hepatic lesions, by decreasing fat droplets and glycogen deposition. The mRNA expression levels of TNFα, MCP-1, and CD68 in white adipose tissue also decreased markedly. Moreover, lico F enhanced Akt signaling, but reduced p38 MAPK signaling in white adipose tissue. Conclusions: Lico F had anti-inflammatory effects and showed beneficial effects on glucose metabolism, which could be partially caused by activation of the Akt signal pathway and obesity-induced chronic inflammation, probably by downregulating p38 signal pathway. Moreover, lico F could be used as a potential novel therapeutic compound against type 2 diabetes and obesity-induced chronic inflammation without the deleterious effects of body weight gain and fatty liver.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine