The aim of this study was to investigate whether a novel formulation of an herbal extract, KBH-1, has an inhibitory effect on obesity. To determine its anti-obesity effects and its underlying mechanism, we performed anti-obesity-related experiments in vitro and in vivo. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were analyzed for lipid accumulation as well as the protein and gene expression of molecular targets involved in fatty acid synthesis. To determine whether KBH-1 oral administration results in a reduction in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity, we examined five groups (n = 9) of C57BL/6 mice as follows: 10% kcal fat diet-fed mice (ND), 60% kcal fat diet-fed mice (HFD), HFD-fed mice treated with orlistat (tetrahydrolipstatin, marketed under the trade name Xenical), HFD-fed mice treated with 150 mg/kg KBH-1 (KBH-1 150) and HFD-fed mice treated with 300 mg/kg KBH-1 (KBH-1 300). During adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells in vitro, KBH-1 significantly reduced lipid accumulation and downregulated the expression of master adipogenic transcription factors, including CCAAT/ enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) â, C/EBP á and peroxisome proliferation-activity receptor (PPAR) ã, which led to the suppression of the expression of several adipocyte-specific genes and proteins. KBH-1 also markedly phosphorylated the adenosine monophosphateactivated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). In addition, KBH-1- induced the inhibition effect on lipid accumulation and AMPK-mediated signal activation were decreased by blocking AMPK phosphorylation using AMPK siRNA. Furthermore, daily oral administration of KBH-1 resulted in dose-dependent decreases in body weight, fat pad mass and fat tissue size without systemic toxicity. These results suggest that KBH-1 inhibits lipid accumulation by down-regulating the major transcription factors of the adipogenesis pathway by regulating the AMPK pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and in mice with HFD-induced obesity. These results implicate KBH-1, a safe herbal extract, as a potential anti-obesity therapeutic agent.
Lee, J. H., Kim, T., Lee, J. J., Lee, K. J., Kim, H. K., Yun, B., … Ma, J. Y. (2015). The Herbal Medicine KBH-1 Inhibits Fat Accumulation in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and Reduces High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity through Regulation of the AMPK Pathway. PLoS ONE, 10(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142041