Aim: To establish if the juice of Moro, an anthocyanin-rich orange, may improve liver damage in mice with diet-induced obesity.
Methods: Eight-week-old mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and were administrated water or Moro juice for 12 wk. Liver morphology, gene expression of lipid transcription factors, and metabolic enzymes were assessed.
Results: Mice fed HFD displayed increased body weight, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. Moro juice administration limited body weight gain, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and decreased serum triglycerides and total cholesterol. Mice fed HFD showed liver steatosis associated with ballooning. Dietary Moro juice markedly improved liver steatosis by inducing the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α and its target gene acylCoA-oxidase, a key enzyme of lipid oxidation. Consistently, Moro juice consumption suppressed the expression of liver X receptor-α and its target gene fatty acid synthase, and restored liver glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase 1 activity.
Conclusion: Moro juice counteracts liver steatogenesis in mice with diet-induced obesity and thus may represent a promising dietary option for the prevention of fatty liver.
Keywords: Anthocyanins; Lipid oxidation; Lipogenesis; Liver steatosis.