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Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012 Jul;10(7):793-9.

[Effects of ursolic acid in ameliorating insulin resistance in liver of KKAy mice via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors α and γ].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.



To explore the effects and mechanism of ursolic acid in improving hepatic insulin resistance in KKAy mice with spontaneous type 2 diabetes.


Thirty-five KKAy mice were divided into five groups according to the randomized block design, namely, control, rosiglitazone, fenofibrate, and high- and low-dose ursolic acid groups with seven mice in each group. C57BL/6J mice were used as the normal control group. At the end of the 4th week, free fatty acid (FFA), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and adiponectin contents in serum were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; the protein expressions of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), insulin receptor substrate-2 (IRS-2) and glucose transport factor-2 (GLUT-2) were detected by Western blot method; the mRNA expressions of PEPCK, IRS-2 and GLUT-2 were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction; the expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in liver tissue were detected by immunohistochemical method.


After four weeks of intervention, the contents of FFA, TNF-α and adiponectin in serum of the high-dose ursolic acid group had changed, showing statistically significant difference compared to those of the control group (P<0.01); high dose of ursolic acid had depressant effect on the expressions of PEPCK protein and PEPCK mRNA (P<0.01); low dose of ursolic acid depressed the expression of PEPCK mRNA and induced phosphorylation of IRS-2 in the liver (P<0.05); both high and low dose of ursolic acid improved the expression of PPARα in the liver (P<0.01).


The effects of ursolic acid in improving hepatic insulin resistance in KKAy mice with spontaneous type 2 diabetes may be closely related to affecting the contents of FFA, TNF-α and adiponectin, improving the expression of PPARα protein, regulating transcription of PEPCK protein and inducing phosphorylation of IRS-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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