Ursolic acid inhibits the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by attenuating endoplasmic reticulum stress.
Food Funct. 2015 May ;6(5):1643-51. PMID: 25892149
Ursolic acid (UA) is a natural pentacyclic triterpenoid compound, which is enriched with many herbs and plants, such as apple, cranberry and olive. UA performs multiple biological activities including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, anti-cancer and hepatoprotection. However, the exact mechanism underlying the hepatoprotective activity of UA remains unclear. In this study, the effects of UA on the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were investigated. In vivo, UA treatment (0.14%, w/w) significantly decreased the liver weight, serum levels of ALT/AST and hepatic steatosis in db/db mice (a type 2 diabetic mouse model). In vitro, UA treatment (10-30μg ml(-1)) significantly decreased palmitic acid induced intracellular lipid accumulation in L02 cells. Our results suggested that the beneficial effects of UA on NAFLD may be due to its ability to increase lipid β-oxidation and to inhibit the hepatic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Together, UA may be further considered as a natural compound for NAFLD treatment.