Artemisia scoparia extract attenuates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in diet-induced obesity mice by enhancing hepatic insulin and AMPK signaling independently of FGF21 pathway

Zhong Q Wang, Xian H Zhang, Yongmei Yu, Russell C Tipton, Ilya Raskin, David Ribnicky, William Johnson, William T Cefalu
Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental 2013, 62 (9): 1239-49

OBJECTIVE: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common liver disease which has no standard treatment. In this regard, we sought to evaluate the effects of extracts of Artemisia santolinaefolia (SANT) and Artemisia scoparia (SCO) on hepatic lipid deposition and cellular signaling in a diet-induced obesity (DIO) animal model.

MATERIALS/METHODS: DIO C57/B6J mice were randomly divided into three groups, i.e. HFD, SANT and SCO. Both extracts were incorporated into HFD at a concentration of 0.5% (w/w). Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, adiponectin, and FGF21 concentrations were measured.

RESULTS: At the end of the 4-week intervention, liver tissues were collected for analysis of insulin, AMPK, and FGF21 signaling. SANT and SCO supplementation significantly increased plasma adiponectin levels when compared with the HFD mice (P<0.001). Fasting insulin levels were significantly lower in the SCO than HFD mice, but not in SANT group. Hepatic H&E staining showed fewer lipid droplets in the SCO group than in the other two groups. Cellular signaling data demonstrated that SCO significantly increased liver IRS-2 content, phosphorylation of IRS-1, IR β, Akt1 and Akt2, AMPK α1 and AMPK activity and significantly reduced PTP 1B abundance when compared with the HFD group. SCO also significantly decreased fatty acid synthase (FAS), HMG-CoA Reductase (HMGR), and Sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP1c), but not Carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-1) when compared with HFD group. Neither SANT nor SCO significantly altered plasma FGF21 concentrations and liver FGF21 signaling.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that SCO may attenuate liver lipid accumulation in DIO mice. Contributing mechanisms were postulated to include promotion of adiponectin expression, inhibition of hepatic lipogenesis, and/or enhanced insulin and AMPK signaling independent of FGF21 pathway.

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