Lee D, et al. Int J Mol Sci 2020.
Our previous studies demonstrated that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) activation reduces weight gain and improves insulin sensitivity in obese mice. Since excess lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues is suggested to be responsible for the development of insulin resistance, this study was undertaken to examine whether the lemon balm extract ALS-L1023 regulates hepatic lipid accumulation, obesity, and insulin resistance and to determine whether its mechanism of action
involves PPARα. Administration of ALS-L1023 to high-fat-diet-induced obese mice caused reductions in body weight gain, visceral fat mass, and visceral adipocyte size without changes of food consumption profiles. ALS-L1023 improved hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose and insulin tolerance, and normalized insulin-positive β-cell area in obese mice. ALS-L1023 decreased hepatic lipid accumulation and concomitantly increased the expression of PPARα target genes responsible for fatty acid β-oxidation in livers. In accordance with the in vivo data, ALS-L1023 reduced lipid accumulation and stimulated PPARα reporter gene expression in HepG2 cells. These effects of ALS-L1023 were comparable to those of the PPARα ligand fenofibrate, while the PPARα antagonist GW6471 inhibited the actions of ALS-L1023 on lipid accumulation and PPARα luciferase activity in HepG2 cells. Higher phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAkt)/Akt ratios and lower expression of gluconeogenesis genes were observed in the livers of ALS-L1023-treated mice. These results indicate that ALS-L1023 may inhibit obesity and improve insulin sensitivity in part through inhibition of hepatic lipid accumulation via hepatic PPARα activation.