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Phytother Res. 2008 May;22(5):675-80. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2395.

A novel function of bamboo extract in relieving lipotoxicity.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 651 Ilalo Street BSB 222, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.


Lipotoxicity is closely related to the etiology and complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study investigated the protective effect of an extract from bamboo Phyllostachys edulis against palmitic acid (PA)-induced lipoapoptosis. The lipo-detoxification function of the bamboo extract (BEX) was evaluated using cell culture models. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay and cell apoptosis was monitored by Annexin V staining. Cellular uptake of fluorescent free fatty acid (FFA) analog was measured by flow cytometry. Protein levels of total protein kinase B (Akt) and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) were measured by western blotting. The results show that co-incubating BEX with mouse myoblast C2C12 cells had no effect on the cellular uptake of FFA, but dramatically decreased PA-induced cell apoptosis and protected cell viability. A similar antilipotoxicity effect of BEX was observed in other mammalian cells. BEX significantly decreased the protein levels of both Akt and p-Akt in C2C12 cells under normal cell culture conditions but not under lipotoxic conditions, indicating the regulatory effect of BEX on cell signaling pathways and its response to a high FFA environment. This study demonstrated a novel function of bamboo extract in preventing lipotoxicity in mammalian cells, implicating a promising phytotherapeutic approach for lipo-detoxification.

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