Stimulatory Effects of Balanced Deep Sea Water on Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Function

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 12;10(6):e0129972. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129972. eCollection 2015.


The worldwide prevalence of metabolic diseases, including obesity and diabetes, is increasing. Mitochondrial dysfunction is recognized as a core feature of these diseases. Emerging evidence also suggests that defects in mitochondrial biogenesis, number, morphology, fusion, and fission, contribute to the development and progression of metabolic diseases. Our previous studies revealed that balanced deep-sea water (BDSW) has potential as a treatment for diabetes and obesity. In this study, we aimed to investigate the mechanism by which BDSW regulates diabetes and obesity by studying its effects on mitochondrial metabolism. To determine whether BDSW regulates mitochondrial biogenesis and function, we investigated its effects on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content, mitochondrial enzyme activity, and the expression of transcription factors and mitochondria specific genes, as well as on the phosphorylation of signaling molecules associated with mitochondria biogenesis and its function in C2C12 myotubes. BDSW increased mitochondrial biogenesis in a time and dose-dependent manner. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that BDSW enhances gene expression of PGC-1α, NRF1, and TFAM for mitochondrial transcription; MFN1/2 and DRP1 for mitochondrial fusion; OPA1 for mitochondrial fission; TOMM40 and TIMM44 for mitochondrial protein import; CPT-1α and MCAD for fatty acid oxidation; CYTC for oxidative phosphorylation. Upregulation of these genes was validated by increased mitochondria staining, CS activity, CytC oxidase activity, NAD+ to NADH ratio, and the phosphorylation of signaling molecules such as AMPK and SIRT1. Moreover, drinking BDSW remarkably improved mtDNA content in the muscles of HFD-induced obese mice. Taken together, these results suggest that the stimulatory effect of BDSW on mitochondrial biogenesis and function may provide further insights into the regulatory mechanism of BDSW-induced anti-diabetic and anti-obesity action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Organelle Biogenesis*
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Seawater*
  • Up-Regulation
  • Water / chemistry
  • Water / pharmacology*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Water

Grants and funding

This research was supported by a grant (technical development for supporting the DSW industry) from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea.