Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(6):787-798. doi:10.7150/ijms.42247 This issue

Research Paper

Sicyos angulatus Prevents High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Mice

Ji Hyun Choi1,2, Jung-Ran Noh1✉, Yong-Hoon Kim1,2, Jae-Hoon Kim1, Eun-Jung Kang1, Dong-Hee Choi1, Jung Hyeon Choi1, Jin-Pyo An3, Won-Keun Oh3, Chul-Ho Lee1,2✉

1. Laboratory Animal Resource Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), 125 Gwahak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea
2. Department of Functional Genomics, KRIBB School of Bioscience, University of Science and Technology (UST), 217 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Korea
3. Korea Bioactive Natural Material Bank, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea

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Choi JH, Noh JR, Kim YH, Kim JH, Kang EJ, Choi DH, Choi JH, An JP, Oh WK, Lee CH. Sicyos angulatus Prevents High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Mice. Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(6):787-798. doi:10.7150/ijms.42247. Available from

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Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to a serious extent. It is a chronic disease that can lead to dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. In the present study, we investigated the anti-obesity effects of Sicyos angulatus (SA) extract on a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced C57BL/6J obese mice. The mice were divided into vehicle and three SA groups (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg body weight). The mice were fed a HFD with or without SA for 12 weeks. The oral administration of SA reduced body and adipose tissue weight in HFD-fed mice compared to those in the vehicle group (p<0.05). Adipocyte size and inflammation significantly decreased in the SA-administered groups in a dose-dependent manner. In particular, adipocytes larger than 5000 µm2 were remarkably reduced by around 50% in the SA-treated groups (p<0.05). In addition, SA contributes towards reducing insulin resistance (measured as the HOMA-IR index) and glucose intolerance in HFD-induced obese mice (p<0.05; Vehicle 21.5±3.1 vs. SA100 4.7±0.4). These beneficial effects of SA on obesity may be linked to the suppression of lipogenesis and stimulating energy metabolism in white adipose tissue and muscle. In white adipose tissue and muscle, the administration of SA activated AMPK pathway, leading to the inhibition of the development of pathophysiological conditions associated with obesity, including lipogenesis and inflammation. These findings suggest that SA may prevent obesity through inhibiting fat accumulation in HFD-induced obese mice. Therefore, SA is able to exert metabolic benefits in the prevention of obesity and insulin resistance.

Keywords: Sicyos angulatus, high-fat diet, obesity, lipogenesis, insulin resistance