Dietary Aloe Reduces Adipogenesis via the Activation of AMPK and Suppresses Obesity-related Inflammation in Obese Mice

Immune Netw. 2011 Apr;11(2):107-13. doi: 10.4110/in.2011.11.2.107. Epub 2011 Apr 30.


Background: Metabolic disorders, including type II diabetes and obesity, present major health risks in industrialized countries. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has become the focus of a great deal of attention as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of metabolic syndromes. In this study, we evaluated whether dietary aloe could reduce obesity-induced inflammation and adipogenesis.

Methods: Male C57BL/6 obese mice fed a high-fat diet for 54 days received a supplement of aloe formula (PAG, ALS, Aloe QDM, and Aloe QDM complex) or pioglitazone (PGZ) and were compared with unsupplemented controls (high-fat diet; HFD) or mice fed a regular diet (RD). RT-PCR and western blot analysis were used to quantify the expression of obesity-induced inflammation.

Results: Aloe QDM complex down-regulated fat size through suppressed expression of scavenger receptors on adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) compared with HFD. Both white adipose tissue (WATs) and muscle exhibited increased AMPK activation through aloe supplementation, and in particular, the Aloe QDM complex. Obesity-induced inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and -6) and HIF1α mRNA and protein were decreased markedly, as was macrophage infiltration by the Aloe QDM complex. Further, the Aloe QDM complex decreased the translocation of NF-κB p65 from the cytosol in the WAT.

Conclusion: Dietary aloe formula reduced obesity-induced inflammatory responses by activation of AMPK in muscle and suppression of proinflammatory cytokines in the WAT. Additionally, the expression of scavenger receptors in the ATM and activation of AMPK in WAT led to reduction in the percent of body fat. Thus, we suggest that the effect of the Aloe QDM complex in the WAT and muscle are related to activation of AMPK and its use as a nutritional intervention against T2D and obesity-related inflammation.

Keywords: AMPK; Aloe QDM complex; Obesity-induced inflammation; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.