Euterpe oleracea Mart.-Derived Polyphenols Protect Mice from Diet-Induced Obesity and Fatty Liver by Regulating Hepatic Lipogenesis and Cholesterol Excretion

PLoS One. 2015 Dec 2;10(12):e0143721. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143721. eCollection 2015.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a polyphenol-rich Açaí seed extract (ASE, 300 mg/kg-1d-1) on adiposity and hepatic steatosis in mice that were fed a high-fat (HF) diet and its underlying mechanisms based on hepatic lipid metabolism and oxidative stress. Four groups were studied: C57BL/6 mice that were fed with standard diet (10% fat, Control), 10% fat + ASE (ASE), 60% fat (HF), and 60% fat + ASE (HF + ASE) for 12 weeks. We evaluated the food intake, body weight gain, serum glucose and lipid profile, hepatic cholesterol and triacyglycerol (TG), hepatic expression of pAMPK, lipogenic proteins (SREBP-1c, pACC, ACC, HMG-CoA reductase) and cholesterol excretion transporters, ABCG5 and ABCG8. We also evaluated the steatosis in liver sections and oxidative stress. ASE reduced body weight gain, food intake, glucose levels, accumulation of cholesterol and TG in the liver, which was associated with a reduction of hepatic steatosis. The increased expressions of SREBP-1c and HMG-CoA reductase and reduced expressions of pAMPK and pACC/ACC in HF group were antagonized by ASE. The ABCG5 and ABCG8 transporters expressions were increased by the extract. The antioxidant effect of ASE was demonstrated in liver of HF mice by restoration of SOD, CAT and GPx activities and reduction of the increased levels of malondialdehyde and protein carbonylation. In conclusion, ASE substantially reduced the obesity and hepatic steatosis induced by HF diet by reducing lipogenesis, increasing cholesterol excretion and improving oxidative stress in the liver, providing a nutritional resource for prevention of obesity-related adiposity and hepatic steatosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / biosynthesis
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Euterpe / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / etiology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • Adipokines
  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids
  • Polyphenols
  • Cholesterol

Grant support

This work was conducted with grants from the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, n° 304974/2013-7) and Rio de Janeiro State Research Agency (FAPERJ, n° E-26/111.784/2013). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.