Effect of Ursolic Acid on Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinemia in Rats with Diet-Induced Obesity: Role of Adipokines Expression.
J Med Food. 2019 Nov 20. Epub 2019 Nov 20. PMID: 31747348
Angélica S González-Garibay
Excess of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) characteristic of obesity leads to a proinflammatory state disrupting the insulin signaling pathway, triggering insulin resistance (IR) and inflammation, the main processes contributing to obesity comorbidities. Ursolic acid (UA), a pentacyclic triterpenoid occurring in a variety of plant foods, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate UA effects on IR, hyperinsulinemia, and inflammation in experimental diet-induced obesity. Forty male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to eight groups ( = 5). One group was used for time 0. Three groups were labeled as OBE (control): receiving high-fat diet (HFD; fat content 45.24% of energy) during 3, 6, or 9 weeks; three groups UA-PREV: exposed to simultaneous HFD and UA during 3, 6, or 9 weeks to evaluate UA preventive effects; one group UA-REV: receiving HFD for 6 weeks, followed by simultaneous HFD and UA for three additional weeks to analyze UA reversal effects. Measurements were performed after 3, 6, or 9 weeks of treatment. Adiposity was calculated by weighing VAT after sacrifice. Serum markers were quantified through colorimetricand enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. VAT adipokines RNAm expression was evaluated by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Data were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitneytests. UA significantly decreased adiposity, IR, hyperinsulinemia, triacylglycerides, and cholesterol levels, and also VAT mRNA expression of MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1), IL (interleukin)-1and IL-6, concomitantly increasing adiponectin levels. UA metabolic effects demonstrated in this study support its potential therapeutic utility to improve IR, hyperinsulinemia, and inflammation observed in obesity and diabetes.