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Title: Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn. Water extract ameliorates palmitate induced insulin resistance by regulating IRS1/GSK3b/FOXO1 signaling pathway in human HepG2 hepatocytes
Authors: Zhang, Y
Yan, LS
Ding, Y
Cheng, BCY 
Luo, G
Kong, J
Liu, TH
Zhang, SF
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Frontiers in pharmacology, 2020, v. 10, 1666
Abstract: The flower of Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn is commonly used in beverage products in Tibet and has potential health benefits for diabetes. However, the mechanisms underlying anti-insulin resistance (IR) action of the flower of E. gardneri are not fully understood. This study aims to investigate the effects of the water extract of the flower of E. gardneri (WEE) on IR in palmitate (PA)-exposed HepG2 hepatocytes. WEE was characterized by UPLC analysis. PA-treated HepG2 cells were selected as the IR cell model. The cell viability was determined using MTT assay. Moreover, the glucose consumption and production were measured by glucose oxidase method. The glucose uptake and glycogen content were determined by the 2-NBDG (2-deoxy-2-[(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl) amino]-D-glucose) glucose uptake assay and anthrone-sulfuric acid assay, respectively. The intracellular triglyceride content was detected by oxidative enzymic method. Protein levels were examined by Western blotting. Nuclear localization of FoxO1 was detected using immunofluorescence analyses and Western blotting. The expression of FoxO1 target genes was detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The viability of PA-treated HepG2 cells was concentration-dependently increased by incubation with WEE for 24 h. WEE treatment remarkably increased the consumption and uptake of glucose in PA-exposed HepG2 cells. Moreover, treatment with WEE significantly decreased the PA-induced over-production of glucose in HepG2 cells. After exposure of HepG2 cells with PA and WEE, the glycogen content was significantly elevated. The phosphorylation and total levels of IRb, IRS1, and Akt were upregulated by WEE treatment in PA-exposed HepG2 cells. The phosphorylation of GSK3b was elevated after WEE treatment in PA-treated cells. WEE treatment also concentration-dependently downregulated the phosphorylated CREB, ERK, c-Jun, p38 and JNK in PA-exposed HepG2 cells. Furthermore, the nuclear protein level and nuclear translocation of FoxO1 were also suppressed by WEE. Additionally, PA-induced changes of FoxO1 targeted genes were also attenuated by WEE treatment. The GLUT2 and GLUT4 translocation were also promoted by WEE treatment in PA-treated HepG2 cells. Taken together, WEE has potential anti-IR effect in PA-exposed HepG2 cells; the underlying mechanism of this action may be associated with the regulation of IRS1/ GSK3b/FoxO1 signaling pathway. This study provides a pharmacological basis for the application of WEE in the treatment of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Edgeworthia gardneri
HepG2 cells
Insulin resistance
IRS1/GSK3b/FoxO1 signaling pathway
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Journal: Frontiers in pharmacology 
EISSN: 1663-9812
DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01666
Rights: © 2020 Zhang, Yan, Ding, Cheng, Luo, Kong, Liu and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Zhang Y, Yan LS, Ding Y, Cheng BCY, Luo G, Kong J, Liu TH and Zhang SF (2020) Edgeworthia gardneri (Wall.) Meisn. Water Extract Ameliorates Palmitate Induced Insulin Resistance by Regulating IRS1/GSK3β/FoxO1 Signaling Pathway in Human HepG2 Hepatocytes. Front. Pharmacol. 10:1666, is available at
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