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J Cancer Prev. 2017 Sep;22(3):147-158. doi: 10.15430/JCP.2017.22.3.147. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Differential Tissue-specific and Pathway-specific Anti-obesity Effects of Green Tea and Taeumjowitang, a Traditional Korean Medicine, in Mice.

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The Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Deparment of Genetics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Precision Medicine Research Center and Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology, Seoul National University, Korea.
Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea.
Center for Food and Nutritional Genomics Research and Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
Chaum Life Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Transdisciplinary Studies Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Suwon, Korea.



Traditional medicines have been leveraged for the treatment and prevention of obesity, one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the effects of traditional medicine on obesity are not yet fully understood.


We produced the transcriptomes of epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT), liver, muscle, and hypothalamus harvested from mice fed a normal diet, high-fat-diet alone, high-fat-diet together with green tea, or a high-fat-diet together with Taeumjowitang, a traditional Korean medicine.


We found tissue-specific gene expression patterns as follows: (i) the eWAT transcriptome was more significantly altered by Taeumjowitang than by green tea, (ii) the liver transcriptome was similarly altered by Taeumjowitang and green tea, and (iii) both the muscle and hypothalamus transcriptomes were more significantly altered by green tea than Taeumjowitang. We then applied integrated network analyses, which revealed that functional networks associated with lymphocyte activation were more effectively regulated by Taeumjowitang than by green tea in the eWAT. In contrast, green tea was a more effective regulator of functional networks associated with glucose metabolic processes in the eWAT.


Taeumjowitang and green tea have a differential tissue-specific and pathway-specific therapeutic effect on obesity.


Gene regulatory networks; Obesity; RNA sequencing; Traditional medicine

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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