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Coumarin is a natural compound abundant in plant-based foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetables and green tea. Although coumarin has been reported to exhibit anti-coagulant, anti-inflammation and cholesterol-lowering properties, the effect of coumarin on hepatic lipid metabolism remains unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of coumarin to protect against hepatic steatosis associated with a high-fat diet (HFD) and investigated potential mechanisms underlying this effect. C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal diet, HFD and HFD containing 0·05 % courmarin for 8 weeks. The present results showed that coumarin reduced weight gain and abdominal fat mass in mice fed the HFD for 8 weeks (P< 0·05). Coumarin also significantly reduced the HFD-induced elevation in total cholesterol, apoB, leptin and insulin (P< 0·05). In the liver of HFD-fed mice, coumarin significantly reduced total lipids, TAG and cholesterol (38, 22 and 9 % reductions, respectively; P< 0·05), as well as lipid droplet number and size. Additionally, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance levels, as an indicator of hepatic steatosis, were attenuated by coumarin (P< 0·05). Finally, coumarin suppressed the HFD-induced up-regulation in fatty acid synthase (FAS) activity, and the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1, FAS, acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1, PPARγ and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α in the liver. Taken together, these results demonstrate that coumarin could prevent HFD-induced hepatic steatosis by regulating lipogenic gene expression, suggesting potential targets for preventing hepatic steatosis.
The effects of tannic acid (TA) supplementation (0·02 %, wt/wt) were compared with the effects of clofibrate (CF) supplementation (0·02 %, wt/wt) in apo E-deficient (apo E− / −) mice fed a AIN-76 semi-synthetic diet (normal diet) over 20 weeks. The mice were monitored for the modulation of hepatic mRNA expression and the activities of lipid-regulating enzymes. Both TA and CF supplementation lowered hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity and prevented atherosclerotic lesion formation in comparison with the control group. Hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase and β-oxidation activities were significantly higher in the TA and CF groups than in the control group. Both CF and TA supplementation resulted in significant decreases in hepatic HMGR mRNA levels in association with its enzyme activity. However, in contrast to CF supplementation, TA supplementation seemed to decrease the accumulation of hepatic lipids in the apo E− / − mice without increasing liver weight. These results suggest that the overall effect of TA is more desirable than CF for the alleviation of hepatic lipogenesis and atherogenesis in apo E− / − mice.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether ethanol extracts of Psoralea corylifolia L. (PCE) and its active component protect against bone loss in ovariectomised rats. We screened oestrogenic activities of the main extract fractions using in vitro assays and identified bakuchiol as the most active oestrogenic component by HPLC and LC/MS, and then demonstrated that bakuchiol had strong binding affinity for oestrogen receptor (ER) α. Seventy female Sprague–Dawley rats were assigned to either a sham-operated group (n 10) or an ovariectomised group (n 60). The ovariectomised group was subdivided into six groups, each containing ten rats: vehicle group, two bakuchiol-treated groups (dose of 15 mg/kg per d or 30 mg/kg per d; ten rats for each group), two PCE-supplemented groups (0·25 % or 0·5 % extracts of diets; ten rats for each group) and a 17β-oestradiol (E2)-treated group (20 μg/kg per d). We recorded weight and feed intake every week, and killed all animals after 6 weeks. Blood was collected, and the uterus, kidneys and livers were removed. Bakuchiol has a three-fold higher binding affinity for ERα than for ERβ. Bakuchiol and PCE treatments had no uterotrophic activity even though they demonstrated oestrogenic activity in the in vitro assays. Bakuchiol and PCE treatments reduced postmenopausal bone loss by increasing alkaline phosphatase, Ca concentrations, serum E2 concentration and bone mineral density, and by decreasing the inorganic P level. The present study indicated that bakuchiol and PCE treatments could protect against bone loss.
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