Lycium barbarum L. (LBL) has beneficial effects on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) but the related mechanism remains unclear. Polysaccharides of LBL (LBLP) are the main bioactive components of LBL. miR-33, ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and sterol regulatory element-binding transcription 1 (SREBF1) affect lipid profiles, which are associated with GDM risk. LBLP may exert protective against GDM by affecting these molecules. Four LBLP fractions: LBLP-I, LBLP-II, LBLP-III, and LBLP-IV were isolated from LBL and further purified by using DEAE-Sephadex column. The effects of purified each fraction on pancreatic beta cells were comparatively evaluated. A total of 158 GDM patients were recruited and randomly divided into LBL group (LG) and placebo group (CG). miR-33 levels, lipid profiles, insulin resistance and secretory functions were measured. The association between serum miR-33 levels and lipid profiles were evaluated by using Spearman's rank-order correlation test. After 4-week therapy, LBL reduced miR-33 level, insulin resistance and increased insulin secretion of GDM patients. LBL increased the levels of ABCA1, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and reduced miR-33, SREBF1, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and malondialdehyde. Homeostatic model assessment of β-cell function and insulin resistance was lower in LG than in CG, whereas homeostatic model assessment of β-cell function and insulin secretory function was higher in LG than in CG. There was a strong positive association between miR-33 level and TG, or TC and or LDL-C, and a strong negative association between miR-33 level and HDL-C. The levels of miR-33 had negative relation with ABCA1 and positive relation with SREBF1. ABCA1 has negative relation with TG, TC, and LDL-C and positive relation with HDL-C. Inversely, SREBF1 had positive relation with TG, TC, and LDL-C and negative relation with HDL-C. The main bioactive compound LBLP-IV of LBL increased insulin secretion of beta cells and the levels of ABCA1, and reduced miR-33 levels and SREBF1 in beta cells. However, LBLP-IV could not change the levels of these molecules anymore when miR-33 was overexpressed or silenced. LBLP-IV had the similar effects with LBL on beta cells while other components had no such effects. Thus, LBLP-IV from LBL improves lipid profiles by upregulating ABCA1 and downregulating SREBF1 via miR-33.
Yang, S., Si, L., Fan, L., Jian, W., Pei, H., & Lin, R. (2018). Polysaccharide IV from Lycium barbarum L. Improves lipid profiles of gestational diabetes mellitus of pregnancy by upregulating ABCA1 and downregulating sterol regulatory element-binding transcription 1 via miR-33. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9(FEB). https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2018.00049