Diosgenin present in fenugreek improves glucose metabolism by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues

Authors

  • Taku Uemura,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Shizuka Hirai,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Noriko Mizoguchi,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Tsuyoshi Goto,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Joo-Yong Lee,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Keiko Taketani,

    1. Spice Research Laboratory, Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan
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  • Yuki Nakano,

    1. Spice Research Laboratory, Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan
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  • Jinji Shono,

    1. Spice Research Laboratory, Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan
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  • Shohei Hoshino,

    1. Spice Research Laboratory, Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan
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  • Nobuaki Tsuge,

    1. Spice Research Laboratory, Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan
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  • Toshihiko Narukami,

    1. Spice Research Laboratory, Somatech Center, House Foods Corporation, Yotsukaido, Chiba, Japan
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  • Nobuyuki Takahashi,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Teruo Kawada

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
    • Laboratory of Molecular Function of Food, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan Fax: +81-774-38-3752
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Abstract

In obesity, adipocyte hypertrophy and chronic inflammation in adipose tissues cause insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) can ameliorate hyperglycemia and diabetes. However, the effects of fenugreek on adipocyte size and inflammation in adipose tissues have not been demonstrated. In this study, we determined the effects of fenugreek on adipocyte size and inflammation in adipose tissues in diabetic obese KK-Ay mice, and identified the active substance in fenugreek. Treatment of KK-Ay mice with a high fat diet supplemented with 2% fenugreek ameliorated diabetes. Moreover, fenugreek miniaturized the adipocytes and increased the mRNA expression levels of differentiation-related genes in adipose tissues. Fenugreek also inhibited macrophage infiltration into adipose tissues and decreased the mRNA expression levels of inflammatory genes. In addition, we identified diosgenin, a major aglycone of saponins in fenugreek to promote adipocyte differentiation and to inhibit expressions of several molecular candidates associated with inflammation in 3T3-L1 cells. These results suggest that fenugreek ameliorated diabetes by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues, and its effects are mediated by diosgenin. Fenugreek containing diosgenin may be useful for ameliorating the glucose metabolic disorder associated with obesity.

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