Purpose: This study investigated the effects of water-soluble mulberry leaf extract (ME) on hepatic lipid accumulation in high-fat diet-fed rats via the regulation of hepatic microRNA (miR)-221/222 and inflammation. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (4 weeks old) were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 7 each) and fed with 10 kcal% low-fat diet (LF), 45 kcal% high-fat diet (HF), or HF + 0.8% ME for 14 weeks. Lipid profiles and cytokine levels of the liver and serum were measured using commercial enzymatic colorimetric and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The messenger RNA (mRNA) and miR levels in liver tissue were assayed by real-time quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Results: Supplementation of ME reduces body weight and improves the liver and serum lipid profiles as compared to the HF group. The mRNA levels of hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c, fatty acid synthase, and fatty acid translocase, which are genes involved in lipid metabolism, were significantly downregulated in the ME group compared to the HF group. In contrast, the mRNA level of hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (involved in fatty acid oxidation) was upregulated by ME supplementation. Furthermore, administration of ME significantly downregulated the mRNA levels of inflammatory mediators such as hepatic tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and inducible nitric oxide synthase. The serum levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and nitric oxide were also significantly reduced in ME group compared to the HF group. Expression of hepatic miR-221 and miR-222, which increase in the inflammatory state of the liver, were also significantly inhibited in the ME group compared to the HF group. Conclusion: These results indicate that ME has the potential to improve hepatic lipid accumulation in high-fat diet-fed rats via modulation of inflammatory mediators and hepatic miR-221/222 expressions.
- lipid metabolism
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease