Danshen extracts prevents obesity and activates mitochondrial function in Brown Adipose Tissue

Yoon Hee Cho, Cheol Ryong Ku, Young Suk Choi, Hyeon Jeong Lee, Eun Jig Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Danshen has been widely used in oriental medicine to improve body function. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of water-soluble Danshen extract (DE) on weight loss and on activation proteins involved in mitochondrial biogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) in obese mice. Methods: BAT was isolated from 7-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats, and expression of proteins related to mitochondrial biogenesis was confirmed in both brown preadipocytes and mature brown adipocytes treated with DE. For the in vivo study, low-density lipoprotein receptor knock out mice were divided into three groups and treated for 17 weeks with: standard diet; high fat diet (HFD); HFD+DE. Body weight was measured every week, and oral glucose tolerance test was performed after DE treatment in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. To observe the changes in markers related to thermogenesis and adipogenesis in the BAT, white adipose tissue (WAT) and liver of experimental animals, tissues were removed and immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen. Results: DE increased the expression of uncoupling protein 1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha in brown preadipocytes, and also promoted the brown adipocyte differentiation and mitochondrial function in the mature brown adipocytes. Reactive oxygen species production in brown preadipocytes was increased depending on the concentration of DE. DE activates thermogenesis in BAT and normalizes increased body weight and adipogenesis in the liver due to HFD. Browning of WAT was increased in WAT of DE treatment group. Conclusion: DE protects against obesity and activates mitochondrial function in BAT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 Korean Endocrine Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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