Acarbose versus trans-chalcone: comparing the effect of two glycosidase inhibitors on obese mice

Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jun;59(3):202-9. doi: 10.1590/2359-3997000000038.


Objective: Acarbose and trans-chalcone are glucosidase inhibitors whose beneficial effects have been demonstrated in diabetes. The present study aimed at investigating their potential effects in obesity.

Materials and methods: NMRI male mice (n = 48) were subjected to a high fat diet for four weeks, which induced an initial state of obesity. One control group was given normal rodent diet. Obese animals were then switched to normal rodent diet, and divided to four groups (n = 12 in each): untreated, sham (receiving grape seed oil), and experimental groups receiving acarbose and trans-chalcone (12 mg/kg) during eight weeks. Body weight, blood glucose and other biochemical parameters including triglycerides (TG), cholesterol, HDL, AST, and ALT were measured, as well as leptin, adiponectin, TNF-α, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Histological studies were performed on adipose cells and liver tissue samples.

Results: All factors were affected in a positive manner by acarbose, save for body weight, blood sugar and leptin levels, on which acarbose effects, although observable, were not statistically significant. Grape seed oil, used as a solvent for trans-chalcone was found to possess significant effect on TG and TAC, and had beneficial effects on other factors including liver enzymes and cholesterol. Trans-chalcone effects were significant on HDL, leptin and ALT. All compounds seemed to be able to affect fat deposition in liver tissue, and decrease the size of adipose tissue cells to some extent.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the tested compounds were able to affect lipid accumulation in tissues and influence adipokines, which may result in an enhanced state with regard to inflammation and oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / pharmacology*
  • Acarbose / therapeutic use
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipokines / blood
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Chalcone / pharmacology*
  • Chalcone / therapeutic use
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Adipokines
  • Antioxidants
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Lipids
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Chalcone
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Acarbose