Salacia reticulata has therapeutic effects on obesity

J Nat Med. 2014 Oct;68(4):668-76. doi: 10.1007/s11418-014-0845-9. Epub 2014 May 18.


Salacia reticulata Wight (S. reticulata) is a herbal medicine used for treatment of early diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine. In previous reports, the extract of S. reticulata showed preventive effects on obesity and various metabolic disorders and a suppressive effect on differentiation in premature adipocytes. The aim of this research was to elucidate the therapeutic efficacy of the extract of S. reticulata on obesity and various metabolic disorders in 12-week-old TSOD mice with obesity and metabolic disorders and in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In TSOD mice, S. reticulata therapy produced a reduction in body weight and mesenteric fat accumulation, an improvement in abnormal glucose metabolism, and an increase in adiponectin level in plasma. In addition, the mRNA expressions of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) and adiponectin were increased in mesenteric fat. In in vitro experiments, S. reticulata therapy produced suppression of intracellular triacylglycerol accumulation and enhancement of glycerol release into the medium in mature 3T3-L1 cells. The mRNA expressions of lipogenesis factor (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, lipoprotein lipase, CD36, and fatty acid binding protein 4) were down-regulated, while the expressions of lipolysis factor (adipose tissue triacylglycerol lipase and HSL) and adiponectin were up-regulated. Moreover, the extract of S. reticulata enhanced the expression of total AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) and phosphorylated AMPKα in mature adipocytes. These findings demonstrate that the extract of S. reticulata has therapeutic effects on obesity and metabolic disorders by enhancing lipogenesis genes and suppressing lipolysis genes through the activation of AMPKα in adipocytes.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipogenesis / drug effects
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Lipase / metabolism
  • Lipolysis
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Salacia*
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triglycerides
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Lipase
  • Glycerol