Effects of green tea on insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and expression of PPARalpha and PPARgamma and their target genes in obese dogs

Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1208-16. doi: 10.1017/S0007114507862386. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


As in man, canine obesity is associated with insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and other chronic diseases. This study was designed to examine the effects of a nutritional supplement (green tea) on insulin sensitivity and plasma lipid concentrations in an obese insulin-resistant dog model. We also determined mRNA expression of two transcription factors, PPARgamma and PPARalpha, and some of their target genes, including GLUT4, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and adiponectin. Obese dogs were divided into two groups: a green tea group (n 6); a control group (n 4). Dogs in the green tea group were given green tea extract (80 mg/kg per d) orally, just before their single daily meal, for 12 weeks. Insulin sensitivity (using a euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp) and concentrations of plasma TAG, total cholesterol and NEFA were assessed in each group. Gene expression was measured in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissues and in liver and skeletal muscle, by real-time PCR. At 12 weeks in the green tea group, mean insulin sensitivity index was 60 (SEM 11) % higher (P < 0.05) and TAG concentration 50 (SEM 10) % lower (P < 0.001), than baseline. PPARgamma, GLUT4, LPL and adiponectin expression were significantly higher in both adipose tissues, whilst PPARalpha and LPL expression were significantly higher in skeletal muscle, compared with baseline. These findings show that nutritional doses of green tea extract may improve insulin sensitivity and lipid profile and alter the expression of genes involved in glucose and lipid homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Camellia sinensis*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / genetics
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • PPAR alpha / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Tea*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Adiponectin
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • PPAR alpha
  • PPAR gamma
  • Tea
  • Triglycerides
  • Lipoprotein Lipase