Green tea polyphenols alter lipid metabolism in the livers of broiler chickens through increased phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase

PLoS One. 2017 Oct 26;12(10):e0187061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187061. eCollection 2017.


Our previous results showed that green tea polyphenols (GTPs) significantly altered the expression of lipid-metabolizing genes in the liver of chickens. However, the underlying mechanism was not elucidated. In this study, we further characterized how GTPs influence AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the regulation of hepatic fat metabolism. Thirty-six male chickens were fed GTPs at a daily dose of 0, 80 or 160 mg/kg of body weight for 4 weeks. The results demonstrated that oral administration of GTPs significantly reduced hepatic lipid content and abdominal fat mass, enhanced the phosphorylation levels of AMPKα and ACACA, and altered the mRNA levels and enzymatic activities of lipid-metabolizing enzymes in the liver. These results suggested that the activation of AMPK is a potential mechanism by which GTPs regulate hepatic lipid metabolism in such a way that lipid synthesis is reduced and fat oxidation is stimulated.

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Abdominal Fat / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Chickens
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Polyphenols
  • Tea
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases

Grant support

This work was supported, in whole or in part, by Anhui Major Demonstration Project for Leading Talent Team on Tea Chemistry and Health (; the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui province, China (Grant No. 1608085MC54,; the Natural Science Foundation of the Anhui Higher Education Institutions of China (Key project, Grant No. KJ2015A060,, Youth Science Foundation of Anhui Agricultural University (Grant No. 2014zr009,, Talent Foundation of Anhui Agricultural University (Grant No. yj2015-19, The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.