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Investigation of the anti-obesity effect of Pueraria montana var. lobata
14 December 2016 (online)
The increase in the prevalence of overweight/obese people worldwide has reached a qualified epidemic stage with more than one billion overweight and at least 400 million clinically obese patients. In search for new treatments to improve the management of the diseases related to obesity, Asian herbal medicines provide prospects with high therapeutic potential, but empirical knowledge has to be scientifically validated. Using a novel hypothesis driven screening approach , the root of Pueraria montana var. lobata (PL) was identified as a promising candidate.
Since starting analysis of NPs in in vitro cell culture systems can lead to false negative results, the efficacy of the aqueous extract was directly tested in an in vivo model of obesity. Mice were fed with a high fat diet containing 60% of fat and with 2 g/kg/day of the extract for 14 days. The effects on body weight and metabolic parameters were measured. Interestingly, we could show that treatment with PL led to a significant weight loss combined with an improvement in glycemic control. Moreover an induction of inguinal brown adipocytes was observed which could explain the metabolic phenotype.
Analysis on UHPLC-PDA-ELSD-HRMS confirmed that the extract contained several isoflavones. Standardization of the extract was performed and quantitative analysis revealed that the level of puerarin, daidzin and genistin reached 5.15% (0.10% SD), 2.16% (0.04% SD) and 1.03% (0.02% SD) respectively (m/m). Since puerarin is the main isoflavone of the extract, its effect on the induction of brown adipocyte formation and function was studied. The assays demonstrated that puerarin in cell culture did not regulate the formation or activity of brown adipocytes. This suggests that either systemic modifications of puerarin or another constituent is responsible for the observed effects. Further pharmacological experiments are necessary to identify the active ingredients of PL which are responsible for its in vivo impact on obesity.
Keywords: Obesity, brown adipose tissue, Traditional Chinese Medicine, dereplication, UHPLC-PDA-ELSD-HRMS, herbal medicine, Pueraria, Puerarin.
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