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Exp Mol Med. 2011 Apr 30;43(4):205-15.

Anti-obesity effects of Lysimachia foenum-graecum characterized by decreased adipogenesis and regulated lipid metabolism.

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R&D Center, BRN Science Co., Ltd., Biotechnology Incubating Center, Golden Helix, Seoul, Korea.


Lysimachia foenum-graecum has been used as an oriental medicine with anti-inflammatory effect. The anti-obesity effect of L. foenum-graecum extract (LFE) was first discovered in our screening of natural product extract library against adipogenesis. To characterize its anti-obesity effects and to evaluate its potential as an anti-obesity drug, we performed various obesity-related experiments in vitro and in vivo. In adipogenesis assay, LFE blocked the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 of 2.5 μg/ml. In addition, LFE suppressed the expression of lipogenic genes, while increasing the expression of lipolytic genes in vitro at 10 μg/ml and in vivo at 100 mg/kg/day. The anti-adipogenic and anti-lipogenic effect of LFE seems to be mediated by the inhibition of PPARγ and C/EBPα expression as shown in in vitro and in vivo, and the suppression of PPARγ activity in vitro. Moreover, LFE stimulated fatty acid oxidation in an AMPK-dependent manner. In high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice (n = 8/group), oral administration of LFE at 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg/day decreased total body weight gain significantly in all doses tested. No difference in food intake was observed between vehicle- and LFE-treated HFD mice. The weight of white adipose tissues including abdominal subcutaneous, epididymal, and perirenal adipose tissue was reduced markedly in LFE-treated HFD mice in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of LFE also greatly improved serum levels of obesity-related biomarkers such as glucose, triglycerides, and adipocytokines leptin, adiponectin, and resistin. All together, these results showed anti-obesity effects of LFE on adipogenesis and lipid metabolism in vitro and in vivo and raised a possibility of developing LFE as anti-obesity therapeutics.

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