Wong HS, Chen J, Leong PK, Leung HY, Chan WM, Ko KM
Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear water bay, Hong Kong.
A semi-purified fraction isolated from Cistanches Herba (HCF1), was previously found to induce mitochondrial uncoupling in H9c2 cells and in rat hearts. We therefore hypothesized that HCF1 would produce weight loss effect against a high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. To test this hypothesis, a mouse model of HFD-induced obesity was established and the effects of HCF1 on normal diet (ND)-fed and HFD-fed mice were examined. In the study, long term HCF1 treatment produced weight reduction effect against HFD-induced obesity in male and female mice. The HCF1-induced weight loss was associated with improved insulin sensitivity in HFD-fed animals. To understand the action mechanism underlying the weight reduction effect afforded by HCF1, its effects on mitochondrial uncoupling was examined. A comparative study with cholestyramine (CT), a bile acid sequestrant, was also conducted. The findings demonstrated that HCF1-induced weight loss was likely mediated by the increase in energy consumption, probably via the induction of mitochondrial uncoupling in mouse skeletal muscle. Thus, our findings suggest the potential use of HCF1 to prevent obesity and the associated health consequences such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome.