Allicin ameliorates obesity comorbid depressive-like behaviors: involvement of the oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, autophagy, insulin resistance and NOX/Nrf2 imbalance in mice.
Metab Brain Dis. 2019 Jun 14. Epub 2019 Jun 14. PMID: 31201726
The increased prevalence of obesity has been a major medical and public health problem in the past decades. In obese status, insulin resistance and sustained oxidative stress damage might give rise to behavioral deficits. The anti-obesity and anti-oxidant effects of allicin have been previously reported in peripheral tissues. In the present study, the functions and mechanisms of allicin involved in the prevention of high-fat diet (HFD)-induced depressive-like behaviors were investigated to better understand the pharmacological activities of allicin. Obese mice (five weeks of age) were treated with allicin (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) by gavage for 15 weeks and behavioral test (sucrose preference, open field, and tail suspension) were performed. Furthermore, markers of oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, autophagy, and insulin resistance were measured in the hippocampal tissue. Finally, the levels of NADPH oxidase(NOX2, NOX4) and the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway were evaluated in the hippocampus. The body weight, metabolic disorders, and depressive-like behaviors in obese mice were ameliorated by allicin. The depressive-like behaviors presented in the obese mice were accompanied by remarkably excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and oxidative stress, damaged mitochondrial function, imbalanced autophagy, and enhanced insulin resistance in the hippocampus. We found that allicin improved the above undesirable effects in the obese mice. Furthermore, allicin significantly decreased NOX2 and NOX4 levels and activated the Nrf2 pathway. Allicin attenuated depressive-like behaviors triggered by long-term HFD consumption by inhibiting ROS production and oxidative stress, improving mitochondrial function, regulating autophagy, and reducing insulin resistance in the hippocampus via optimization of NOX/Nrf2 imbalance.