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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Dec 5;18(1):323. doi: 10.1186/s12906-018-2388-1.

Electric stimulation of ears accelerates body weight loss mediated by high-fat to low-fat diet switch accompanied by increased white adipose tissue browning in C57BL/6 J mice.

Author information

1
Institute of Nutrition, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan.
2
Department of Nutrition, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan.
3
Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. clhsieh@mail.cmuh.org.tw.
4
Chinese Medicine Research Center, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. clhsieh@mail.cmuh.org.tw.
5
Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, 40447, Taiwan. clhsieh@mail.cmuh.org.tw.
6
Institute of Nutrition, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. pmchao@mail.cmu.edu.tw.
7
Department of Nutrition, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. pmchao@mail.cmu.edu.tw.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Weight reduction frequently occurs in patients receiving vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy. Therefore, we hypothesized that during dietary intervention for weight loss, auricular electric stimulation (AES), an alternative of VNS, accelerates weight loss by increasing white adipose tissue (WAT) browning and increases energy expenditure.

METHODS:

C57BL/6J male mice were fed a high-fat diet for 5 wk. to induce obesity, then switched to a low-fat diet for 5 wk. and allocated into 3 groups to receive 2 Hz electric stimulation on ears, electrode clamps only, or nothing (AES, Sham and Ctrl, respectively).

RESULTS:

Switching to a low-fat diet reduced body weight progressively in all 3 groups, with the greatest reduction in the AES group. In accordance with a mild decrease in feed intake, hypothalamus mRNA levels of Npy, AgRP tended to be reduced, while Pomc tended to be increased by AES. Mice in the AES group had the highest concentrations of norepinephrine in serum and inguinal WAT, and expression levels of uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) and tyrosine hydroxylase in inguinal WAT. Furthermore, their subcutaneous adipocytes had multilocular and UCP-1+ characteristics, along with a smaller cell size.

CONCLUSION:

AES, by increasing WAT browning, could be used in conjunction with a low-fat diet to augment weight loss in addition to suppressing appetite.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-obesity; Auricular electric stimulation; Browning of white adipose tissue; Dietary control; UCP-1

PMID:
30518367
PMCID:
PMC6282328
DOI:
10.1186/s12906-018-2388-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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