2017 Volume 11 Issue 5 Pages 281-287
The leaves of Aster yomena (Kitam.) Honda have long been used as a traditional herb for treating disorders including coughs, asthma, and insect bites. According to recent studies, A. yomena leaf extracts have several pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-asthmatic activities. However, little information is available regarding their anti-obesity effect. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of the ethanol extracts of A. yomena leaves (EEAY) on adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis using 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. When 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with various concentrations of EEAY (ranging from non-toxic), the number of lipid droplets, lipid content, and triglyceride production, the typical characteristics of adipocytes, were suppressed in a concentration-dependent manner. During this process, EEAY significantly reduced the expression of adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α and β, and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c. In addition, EEAY was also found to potently inhibit the expression of adipocyte-specific genes, including adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein and leptin. In particular, EEAY treatment effectively enhanced the activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway; however, the co-treatment with compound C, an inhibitor of AMPK, significantly restored the EEAY-induced inhibition of pro-adipogenic transcription factors and adipocyte-specific genes. These results indicate that EEAY may exert an anti-obesity effect by controlling the AMPK signaling pathway, suggesting that the leaf extract of A. yomena may be a potential anti-obesity agent.