Bofutsushosan (BOF), an oriental herbal medicine, has been used as an anti-obesity drug in overweight patients. In the present study, to evaluate the anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of BOF, we investigated the effects of BOF on the white adipose tissue (WAT) weight, the size of adipocytes, adiponectin expression, and oral glucose tolerance test results in high-fat diet-fed male KK/Ta mice. In addition, the mRNA expression levels of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and UCP2 mRNA in WAT and brown adipose tissue (BAT) were measured. 6-week-old KK/Ta mice were divided into four groups and fed a purified powdered basal diet (the BD group), a purified high-fat (HF) powdered diet containing suet powder at 37.5 g/100 g diet (the HF group), a high-fat diet plus 1.0% bofutsushosan (BOF) treatment (the HF + BOF group), or a high-fat diet plus 1.0% daisaikoto (DAI) treatment (the HF + DAI group) for 4 weeks. The weight of WAT and the size of adipocytes were increased in the HF group compared with those in the BD group, and these increases in the HF group were significantly inhibited in the HF + BOF group, but not affected in the HF + DAI group. There were no statistically significant differences in plasma levels and tissue mRNA levels of adiponectin among the four groups. There were no significant differences in UCP1 mRNA expression of BAT among the four groups. The expression of UCP1 mRNA in WAT was found in the HF + BOF group, but little expression was seen in the WAT of the BD, HF, or HF + DAI groups. The elevated plasma glucose levels and responses after the glucose loading in the HF group tended to decrease in the HF + BOF group. These results suggest that BOF decreases the weight and size gains of WAT along with up-regulating UCP1 mRNA in WAT in high-fat diet-fed mice.
2008 by The Editorial Secretariat of JCBN