A New Possible Mechanism by Which Punicalagin Protects against Liver Injury Induced by Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Upregulation of Autophagy via the Akt/FoxO3a Signaling Pathway.J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Dec 18; 67(50):13948-13959.JA
The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effect of punicalagin (PU), which is a main component of pomegranate polyphenols, against liver injury induced by Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to explore the molecular mechanism based on autophagy in vivo and in vitro. In T2DM mice, we found that PU significantly improved liver histology, reversed serum biochemical abnormalities, and increased the autophagosome number in the liver. In HepG2 cells cultured in a high-glucose environment, PU upregulated the glucose uptake level. Both in vivo and in vitro, PU upregulated the expression of autophagy-related proteins, such as LC3b and p62, and reduced the phosphorylated Akt/total Akt and phosphorylated FoxO3a/total FoxO3a protein ratios, and these effects were enhanced by LY294002 (a PI3K/Akt inhibitor). In summary, our current findings suggest that PU protects against liver injury induced by T2DM by restoring autophagy through the Akt/FoxO3a signaling pathway.