The present study tested the hypothesis that Korean red ginseng (KRG) provides a protective effect against alcoholic fatty liver. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups and fed a modified Lieber-DeCarli diet containing 5% (w/v) alcohol or an isocaloric amount of dextrin-maltose for the controls for 6 weeks: normal control (CON), alcohol control (ET), and ET treated with 125 or 250 mg/kg body weight/day of KRG (RGL or RGH, respectively). Compared with the CON group, the ET group exhibited a significant increase in triglycerides, total cholesterol and the presence of lipid droplets in the liver, and a decrease in fat mass, which were all attenuated by KRG supplementation in adose-dependent manner. The mitigation was accompanied by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathways in the liver and adipose tissue. In addition, suppression in the alcohol-induced changes of adipose adipokine mRNA expression was also observed in KRG supplementation group. These findings suggest that KRG may have the potential to ameliorate alcoholic fatty liver by suppressing inappropriate lysis of adipose tissue and preventing unnecessary de novo lipogenesis in the liver, which are mediated by AMPK signaling pathways. A mechanism for an interplay between the two organs is still needed to be examined with further assays.
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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- AMP-activated protein kinase
- Adipose tissue
- Alcoholic fatty liver
- Korean red ginseng