Licochalcone F alleviates glucose tolerance and chronic inflammation in diet-induced obese mice through Akt and p38 MAPK

Eun Jung Bak, Kyung Chul Choi, Sungil Jang, Gye Hyeong Woo, Ho Geun Yoon, Younghwa Na, Yun Jung Yoo, Youngseok Lee, Yangsik Jeong, Jeong Heon Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background & aims: Licochalcone (lico) F is a novel synthetic retrochalcone. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of lico F in vitro, and its effects on obesity-induced chronic inflammation, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver in vivo. Methods: The inhibitory effects of lico F on TNFα-induced inflammation were investigated using NF-κB luciferase reporter assay and RT-PCR. Diet-induced obese mice were treated orally, once per day, with vehicle or lico F (10 mg/kg/day), for 3 weeks, and blood, liver, and adipose tissues were analyzed. Results: Lico F inhibited TNFα-induced NF-κB activation and mRNA expression of TNFα, COX-2, IL-6, IL-1β, and NOS2. In obese mice, lico F administration significantly alleviated glucose tolerance without changes in body weight gain and food intake. Lico F reduced adipocyte size and macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue and improved hepatic lesions, by decreasing fat droplets and glycogen deposition. The mRNA expression levels of TNFα, MCP-1, and CD68 in white adipose tissue also decreased markedly. Moreover, lico F enhanced Akt signaling, but reduced p38 MAPK signaling in white adipose tissue. Conclusions: Lico F had anti-inflammatory effects and showed beneficial effects on glucose metabolism, which could be partially caused by activation of the Akt signal pathway and obesity-induced chronic inflammation, probably by downregulating p38 signal pathway. Moreover, lico F could be used as a potential novel therapeutic compound against type 2 diabetes and obesity-induced chronic inflammation without the deleterious effects of body weight gain and fatty liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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