Anti-obesity effects of Juniperus chinensis extract are associated with increased AMP-activated protein kinase expression and phosphorylation in the visceral adipose tissue of rats

Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Jul;31(7):1415-21. doi: 10.1248/bpb.31.1415.


This study evaluates the protective effect of Juniperus chinensis hot water extract (JCE) against high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity and its molecular mechanisms in the visceral adipose tissue of rats. JCE supplementation significantly lowered body weight gain, visceral fat-pad weights, blood lipid levels, and blood insulin and leptin levels of rats rendered obese by an HFD. Feeding with JCE significantly reversed the HFD-induced down-regulation of the epididymal adipose tissue genes implicated in adipogenesis, such as the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma2 (PPARgamma2), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP1c), fatty acid synthase (FAS), and HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR), as well as those involved in uncoupled respiration, such as the uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3). Dietary supplementation with JCE also reversed the HFD-induced decreases in the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and the acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 (ACC2) expressions at both the mRNA and protein levels and restored the HFD-induced inhibitions in the AMPK and ACC2 phosphorylation, which are related to fatty acid beta-oxidation, in the epididymal adipose tissue. This study reports, for the first time, that the JCE can have an anti-obesity effect in a rodent model with HFD-induced obesity through an enhanced gene transcription of the uncoupling protein as well as an elevated AMPK protein expression and phosphorylation in the visceral adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / biosynthesis
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / genetics
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / enzymology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Insulin / blood
  • Juniperus / chemistry*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Multienzyme Complexes / biosynthesis*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / biosynthesis*
  • RNA / biosynthesis
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Wood


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Lipids
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase