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ABSTRACT: Cirsium japonicum flavones have been demonstrated to possess anti-diabetic effects in diabetic rats, but the functional mechanism remains unknown. The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) plays an important role in glucose and lipid homeostasis. In this study, we report the effects of Cirsium japonicum flavones (pectolinarin and 5,7-dihydroxy-6,4-dimethoxy flavone) on PPARγ activation, adipocyte differentiation, and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells. Reporter gene assays and Oil Red O staining showed that Cirsium japonicum flavones induced PPARγ activation and enhanced adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, Cirsium japonicum flavones increased the expression of PPARγ target genes, such as adiponectin and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), and enhanced the translocation of intracellular GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. In mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Cirsium japonicum flavones significantly enhanced the basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. The flavones-induced effects in 3T3-L1 cells were abolished by the PPARγ antagonist, GW9662, and by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, wortmannin. This study suggests that Cirsium japonicum flavones promote adipocyte differentiation and glucose uptake by inducing PPARγ activation and then modulating the insulin signaling pathway in some way, which could benefit diabetes patients.
Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 01/2012; 35(6):855-60. · 1.85 Impact Factor