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Clin Ter. 2015;166(3):99-104. doi: 10.7417/CT.2015.1837.

Effect of palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) tocotrienols on mesenteric adipose tissue deposition and the expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 enzyme (11β-HSD1) in adrenalectomized rats treated with dexamethasone.

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Anatomy Department, Universiti Kuala Lumpur - Royal College of Medicine Perak, 3 Jalan Greentown, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Anatomy Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



A study was done to investigate the effect of palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) tocotrienols on (1) rats mesenteric adipose tissue deposition (2) and 11β-HSD1 enzyme expression in mesenteric adipocyte. There is a necessity to find an inhibitor for the 11β-HSD1 enzyme which enhances the proliferation of mesenteric adipocyte tissue therefore curbing the onset of metabolic syndrome.


A total of 35 male Spraque Dawley rats were divided into 5 different groups, i.e., a baseline control group (n=7), a sham operated group (n=7) and three experimental adrenalectomised groups (ADR) (n=21). Each of the experimental ADR group was given intramuscular dexamethasone (Dexa) with a dose of 120 μg/kg after 2 weeks post adrenalectomy and were divided into adrenalectomised control (n=7), Glycyrrhizic acid (GCA) treated (dose=120 mg/kg/day; n=7) and Palm Tocotrienol treated (dose=60 mg/kg/day; n=7) groups. These various treatments were given 6 days a week for 8 weeks via gastric gavage (following 2 weeks of adrenalectomy). Data is expressed as mean ± standard error mean (SEM), compared to each other using one-way analysis-of-variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey's post hoc test and then a t-test.


The results show that palm tocotrienol tend to slightly increase mesenteric adipose tissue deposition in rats. However, palm tocotrienol was also found to have potential in inhibiting the expression of 11β-HSD1 enzyme in mesenteric adipocytes.


This study suggests palm tocotrienol inhibits 11β-HSD1 enzyme expression and activity.


11β-HSD1; Glucocorticoids; Metabolic syndrome; Visceral adiposecorticoid; Visceral obesity

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