Schisandrin B (SchB) is one of the most abundant bioactive dibenzocyclooctadiene derivatives found in the fruit of Schisandra chinensis. Here, we investigated the potential therapeutic effects of SchB on non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease (NAFLD). In lipidomic study, ingenuity pathway analysis highlighted palmitate biosynthesis metabolic pathway in the liver samples of SchB-treated high-fat-diet-fed mice. Further experiments showed that the SchB treatment reduced expression and activity of fatty acid synthase, expressions of hepatic mature sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α, and hepatic level of palmitic acid which is known to promote progression of steatosis to steatohepatitis. Furthermore, the treatment also reduced hepatic fibrosis, activated nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor-2 which is known to attenuate the progression of NASH-related fibrosis. Interestingly, in fasting mice, a single high-dose SchB induced transient lipolysis and increased the expressions of adipose triglyceride lipase and phospho-hormone sensitive lipase. The treatment also increased plasma cholesterol levels and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase activity, reduced the hepatic low-density-lipoprotein receptor expression in these mice. Our data not only suggest SchB is a potential therapeutic agent for NAFLD, but also provided important information for a safe consumption of SchB because SchB overdosed under fasting condition will have adverse effects on lipid metabolism.
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