Milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), a protein-lipid complex surrounding the fat globules in milk, has many health benefits. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether MFGM could prevent obesity through inhibiting adipogenesis and promoting brown remodeling of white adipose tissue (WAT) in mice fed with high-fat diet. C57BL/6 mice were fed a normal diet (ND), high-fat diet (HFD), HFD plus MFGM at 100 mg/kg BW, 200 mg/kg BW or 400 mg/kg BW for 8 weeks. Results showed that MFGM suppressed body weight gain induced by HFD, reduced white adipose tissue (WAT) mass accompanied with the decrease in adipocyte sizes. MFGM was found to have partially improved serum lipid profiles, as well as to have suppressed HFD-induced adipogenesis as shown by reduced expression of peroxisome proliferators-activator receptor-γ (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (C/EBPα) and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c). MFGM also markedly increased the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), showing activation of AMPK pathway. Moreover, MFGM promoted browning of inguinal WAT by upregulation the protein expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in HFD mice. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that MFGM may protect against diet-induced adiposity by suppressing adipogenesis and promoting brown-like transformation in WAT.
Keywords: adipogenesis; adipose tissue; milk fat globule membrane; obesity; uncoupling protein 1.