Phyllodulcin is a natural sweetener found in Hydrangea macrophylla var. thunbergii. This study investigated whether phyllodulcin could improve metabolic abnormalities in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. Animals were fed a 60% HFD for 6 weeks to induce obesity, followed by 7 weeks of supplementation with phyllodulcin (20 or 40 mg/kg body weight (b.w.)/day). Stevioside (40 mg/kg b.w./day) was used as a positive control. Phyllodulcin supplementation reduced subcutaneous fat mass, levels of plasma lipids, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and improved the levels of leptin, adiponectin, and fasting blood glucose. In subcutaneous fat tissues, supplementation with stevioside or phyllodulcin significantly decreased mRNA expression of lipogenesis-related genes, including CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ), and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1C (SREBP-1c) compared to the high-fat group. Phyllodulcin supplementation significantly increased the expression of fat browning-related genes, including PR domain containing 16 (Prdm16), uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1-α (PGC-1α), compared to the high-fat group. Hypothalamic brain-derived neurotrophic factor-tropomyosin receptor kinase B (BDNF-TrkB) signaling was upregulated by phyllodulcin supplementation. In conclusion, phyllodulcin is a potential sweetener that could be used to combat obesity by regulating levels of leptin, fat browning-related genes, and hypothalamic BDNF-TrkB signaling.
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© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Fat browning
- High fat diet
- Subcutaneous fat