Methods: Obese female C57/BL6 (20-week-old) mice that have been fed with high-fat diet for 13 weeks were treated with 7,8-DHF for 9 weeks. Various biochemical and molecular analyses were performed to examine the signal transduction pathway, metabolite content, and mitochondrial mass in the animals. Moreover, systemic energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity were determined by indirect calorimetry and insulin/glucose-tolerance tests. We have also determined the metabolic actions of 7,8-DHF on cultured myotubes.
Results: 7,8-DHF treatment increased cellular respiration by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis in cultured skeletal muscle cells. In diet-induced obese mice, subsequent 7,8-DHF consumption triggered the AMPK/CREB/PGC-1α pathways to increase the muscular mitochondrial content. Systemic energy metabolism was thus elevated, which reduced the body weight gain in obese animals. Consequently, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia hyperinsulinemia, and ectopic lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle and liver of the obese animals were alleviated after 7,8-DHF treatment. Moreover, insulin sensitivity of the obese muscle was improved after 7,8-DHF consumption.
Conclusion: 7,8-DHF treatment increases muscular mitochondrial respiration and systemic energy expenditure, which alleviates the body weight gain and partially reverse the metabolic abnormalities induced by obesity.
- Skeletal muscle