Lifestyle modification is the main treatment for obesity. An understanding of the mechanisms of appetite control, nutrient metabolism, and energy expenditure has greatly enhanced drug development for disorders, such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, and inflammation. Peucedanum japonicum Thunb (PJT), also known as "Chomeiso" (長命草), is a traditional herb that has been used to provide nutrition; the herb has a broad spectrum of physiological and biological properties. In our previous studies, we found that PJT has antiobesity effects, more specifically, the ethanol extract of PJT reduces obesity and diabetes symptoms in high-fat diet-fed mice. Furthermore, in one of our recent studies, we isolated the active component of PJT with antiobesity properties called pteryxin, a previously known coumarin. However, its biological properties against obesity were unknown. We determined that pteryxin played a role in adipogenesis suppression mechanisms, both in vitro and in vivo. This study details the current understanding of antiobesity effects of PJT extracts, its active compound pteryxin, and the distinctive properties of pteryxin compared with those of other natural compounds against obesity. This review will help in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying pteryxin's effects for development of pharmaceutical drugs and nutritional products.
2016 Japan Society for Lipid Nutrition