Pancreas protective effects of Urolithin A on type 2 diabetic mice induced by high fat and streptozotocin via regulating autophagy and AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Mar 25 ;250:112479. Epub 2019 Dec 14. PMID: 31846746
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Urolithin A (UroA), the main intestinal microflora metabolite of ellagic acid of berries, pomegranate,and some other traditional chinese herbals such as emblica officinalis,etc,has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-tumor and pro-autophagy effects.
AIM OF THE STUDY: This study evaluated the anti-diabetic and pancreas-protective effects of UroA using a mice model of type 2 diabetes and preliminarily explored its effect on autophagy as well as the mechanism involved.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Type 2 diabetes model was induced by high-fat diet (HFD; 60% energy as fat) and low-dose streptozotocin (85 mg/kg) injection. Mice were administered with UroA (50 mg/kg/d) alone or UroA-chloroquine (autophagy inhibitor) combination for 8 weeks.
RESULTS: UroA improved symptoms of diabetic mice such as high water intake volume, high urine volume, significantly decreased fasting blood glucose (FBG), after-glucose-loading glucose, glycated hemoglobin (GHb) levels, plasma C-peptide, malondialdehyde (MDA) and interleukin-1β level, increased reduced glutathione (GSH), interleukin-10 content, and glucose tolerance. UroA also improved pancreatic function indexes such as HOMA-β as evidenced by improved pathological and ultrastructural features of the pancreas assessed by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Accordingly, UroA decreased mitochondrial swelling and myelin-like cytoplasmic inclusions. UroA significantly upregulated the protein levels of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3II) and beclin1, downregulated sequestosome 1 (p62) accompanied by decreased expression of apoptotic protein cleaved caspase3 in pancreas of diabetic mice. In addition, it increased the phosphorylation level of protein kinase B (p-Akt) and mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR). Most of these effects of UroA were reversed by treatment with autophagy inhibitor chloroquine.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reveal that the pancreas protective effects of UroA against diabetes were partially mediated by its regulation of autophagy and AKT/mTOR signal pathway.