Ziziphus jujuba Mill. leaf extract restrains adipogenesis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Ziziphus jujuba Mill. leaf extract restrains adipogenesis by targeting PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Jul 18 ;141:111934. Epub 2021 Jul 18. PMID: 34323694
Martina S Savova
The escalation in the global prevalence of obesity has focused attention on finding novel approaches for its management. Ziziphus jujuba Mill. (ZJL) leaf extract is reported as a traditional remedy for diverse pathological conditions, including obesity. The present study investigated whether ZJL affects adipogenic differentiation in human adipocytes. Additionally, following metabolite profiling of the extract, apigenin (APG), betulinic acid (BA) and maslinic acid (MA) were selected for biological activity evaluation. The possible interactions between APG, BA, MA and target proteins with a central role in adipogenesis were assessed through molecular docking. The potential mechanisms of ZJL, APG, BA and MA were identified using transcriptional analysis through real-time quantitative PCR and protein abundance evaluation by Western blotting. The obtained results revealed a concentration-dependent reduction of accumulated lipids after ZJL, BA and MA application. The key adipogenic transcription factors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPα) were strongly decreased at a protein level by all treatments. Moreover, the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway was found to be involved in the anti-adipogenic effect of ZJL, APG and BA. Collectively, our findings indicate that ZJL and its pure compounds hampered adipocyte differentiation through PI3K/AKT inhibition. Among the selected compounds, BA exhibits the most promising anti-adipogenic activity. Furthermore, being a complex mixture of phytochemicals, the ZJL extract could be utilized as source of yet unknown bioactive leads with potential implementation in obesity management.