Corosolic acid (CRA), a constituent of Banaba leaves, has been reported to exert anti-hypertension, anti-hyperinsulinemia, anti-hyperglycemia, and anti-hyperlipidemia effects as well as to induce anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of CRA on the development of obesity and hepatic steatosis in KK-Ay mice, a genetically obese mouse model. Six-week-old KK-Ay mice were fed a high fat diet for 9 weeks with or without 0.023% CRA. Nine-week CRA treatment resulted in 10% lower body weight and 15% lower total fat (visceral plus subcutaneous fat) mass than in control mice. CRA treatment reduced fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin, and triglyceride by 23%, 41%, and 22%, respectively. The improved insulin sensitivity in CRA-treated mice may be due on part to the increased plasma adiponectin and white adipose tissue (WAT) AdipoR1 levels. In addition, CRA treatment increased the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)α in liver and PPARγ in WAT. This is the first study to show that CRA treatment can contribute to reduced body weight and amelioration of hepatic steatosis in mice fed a high fat diet, due in part to increased expression of PPARα in liver and PPARγ in WAT.
2008 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan