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Mol Med Rep. 2016 Jan;13(1):787-95. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2015.4628. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

Fructus xanthii improves lipid homeostasis in the epididymal adipose tissue of rats fed a high-fat diet.

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Xiamen Diabetes Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361003, P.R. China.
Central Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361003, P.R. China.


High fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity triggers common features of human metabolic syndrome in rats. Our previous study showed that Fructus xanthii (FX) attenuates HFD-induced hepatic steatosis. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of FX on lipid metabolism in epididymal fat (EF), and examine its underlying mechanisms. Aqueous extraction fractions of FX or vehicle were orally administered by gavage for 6 weeks to rats fed either a HFD or a normal chow diet (NCD). The levels of circulating free fatty acid (FFA) were determined in plasma, and the expression levels of lipid metabolism‑ and inflammation‑associated genes in the EF were measured using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. The general morphology, size and number of adipocytes in the EF, and the levels of macrophage infiltration were evaluated using hematoxylin and eosin staining or immunohistochemical staining. FX decreased circulating levels of FFA, increased the expression levels of sterol‑regulatory‑element‑binding protein‑1c, FAS, acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase, diacylglycerol acyltransferase and lipoprotein lipase lipogenic genes in the EF. FX increased the numbers of adipocytes in the EF, and featured a shift towards smaller adipocyte size. Compared with the vehicle‑treated rats, positive staining of F4/80 was more dispersed in the FX‑treated rats, and the percentage of F4/80 positive cells was significantly decreased. FX attenuated HFD‑induced lipid dyshomeostasis in the epididymal adipose tissue.

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