Scope: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is currently the most common chronic liver disease worldwide, characterized by excessive hepatic lipid accumulation without significant ethanol consumption. We have performed a screening for medicinal foods that inhibit hepatocytic lipid accumulation through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is a critical regulator of the hepatic lipid metabolism.
Methods and results: We found that clove (Syzygium aromaticum), which is commonly used as a spice, markedly inhibits palmitate-inducible lipid accumulation in human HepG2 hepatocytes. Analyses of the clove extracts found that β-caryophyllene, an orally-active cannabinoid, is the principal suppressor of the lipid accumulation, and stimulates the phosphorylation of AMPK and acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1). Our data also showed that β-caryophyllene prevents the translocation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) into the nucleus and forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1) into the cytoplasm through AMPK signaling, and consequently, induces a significant downregulation of fatty acid synthase (FAS) and upregulation of adipose triglyceride lipase, respectively. Moreover, we demonstrated that the β-caryophyllene-induced activation of AMPK could be mediated by the cannabinoid type 2 receptor-dependent Ca2+ signaling pathway.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that β-caryophyllene has the potential efficacy in preventing and ameliorating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its associated metabolic disorders.
Keywords: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK); Cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor; Clove (Syzygium aromaticum); NAFLD; β-Caryophyllene.
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.