Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an attractive therapeutic target for treating obesity and metabolic diseases. Octacosanol is the main component of policosanol, a mixture of very long chain aliphatic alcohols obtained from plants. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of octacosanol and policosanol on high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Mice were fed on chow, or HFD, with or without octacosanol or policosanol treatment for four weeks. HFD-fed mice showed significantly higher body weight and body fat compared with chow-fed mice. However, mice fed on HFD treated with octacosanol or policosanol (HFDo/p) showed lower body weight gain, body fat gain, insulin resistance and hepatic lipid content. Lower body fat gain after octacosanol or policosanol was associated with increased BAT activity, reduced expression of genes involved in lipogenesis and cholesterol uptake in the liver, and amelioration of white adipose tissue (WAT) inflammation. Moreover, octacosanol and policosanol significantly increased the expression of Ffar4, a gene encoding polyunsaturated fatty acid receptor, which activates BAT thermogenesis. Together, these results suggest that octacosanol and policosanol ameliorate diet-induced obesity and metabolic disorders by increasing BAT activity and improving hepatic lipid metabolism. Thus, these lipids represent promising therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no competing interests.
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