Diet-induced obesity is strongly associated with nonalcoholic fatty-liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance. We aimed to investigate the in vivo therapeutic value of tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) intervention in high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity and hepatic steatosis. C57BL/6 mice were fed an HFD for 10 weeks, and then they received 20 or 100 mg/kg THC along with the HFD for another 10 weeks. Mice fed an HFD for 20 weeks experienced obesity, hepatic steatosis, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance. Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) intervention for 10 weeks significantly reduced adiposity (epididymal-fat weights of 6.6 ± 0.4 g for the HFD-only group and 5.3 ± 0.8 and 5.6 ± 0.7 g for the HFD with 20 mg/kg THC and HFD with 100 mg/kg THC groups, respectively; p < 0.05) via downregulation of adipogenic factors. Inflammatory macrophage infiltration and polarization were decreased by THC in mouse epididymal adipose tissues. In the liver, THC markedly alleviated steatosis by approximately 28-37% (p < 0.05) via the downregulation of lipogenesis, the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and the increase of fatty acid oxidation. Elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance were also improved by THC, which might be caused by regulation of the hepatic insulin signaling cascade, gene transcription involved in glucose metabolism, and reduced macrophage infiltration in the liver and adipose tissue. Our results demonstrated the beneficial effects of THC-mediated intervention against obesity and NAFLD as well as other metabolic syndromes, revealing a novel therapeutic use of THC in obese populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- insulin resistance
- macrophage polarization