Vernonia cinerea water extract improves insulin resistance in high-fat diet-induced obese mice.Nutr Res 2018; 56:51-60NR
Vernonia cinerea (V cinerea) is a plant distributed in grassy areas in Southeast Asia and has several pharmacological effects, including antidiabetic activity. However, the information available regarding the effect of V cinerea on insulin resistance in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice is not yet determined. We hypothesized that V cinerea water extract (VC) improves insulin sensitivity in HFD-induced obese mice by modulating both phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathways in liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue. Obesity was induced in mice from the Institute for Cancer Research by feeding an HFD 188.28 kJ (45 kcal % lard fat) for 12 weeks. During the last 6 weeks of the HFD, obese mice were treated with VC (250 and 500 mg/kg). We found that VC at both doses significantly reduced the hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia, and hyperlipidemia. Obese mice treated with VC could increase serum adiponectin but reduce the proinflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-α, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. The extracts decreased triglyceride storage in liver and skeletal muscle of obese mice. The average size of fat cells was smaller in VC-treated groups than that of the HFD group. The protein expressions of PI3K and AMPK pathways in liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue were upregulated (increased phosphorylation of PI3K, protein kinase B, AMPK, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase) by VC treatment. Furthermore, the glucose transporter 4 was increased in muscle and adipose tissue in obese mice treated with VC. These data indicate that VC treatment stimulates phosphorylation of PI3K and AMPK pathways in liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. Stimulating these pathways may improve impaired glucose and lipid homeostasis in an HFD-induced obesity mouse model. Based on these findings, it appears that VC has potential as a functional food or therapeutic agent in management of insulin resistance related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.