Protopanaxadiol alleviates obesity in high-fat diet-fed mice via activation of energy-sensing neuron in the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 Jun 11;513(4):1092-1099. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.04.031. Epub 2019 Apr 19.


Obesity is one of the most important health problems worldwide. Panax ginseng has been reported to exert anti-obesity effect. However, the active constituents and the underlying mechanism remained uncertain. This study uncovered the anti-obesity effect of protopanaxadiol (PPD) and its potential mechanism. To investigate the anti-obesity effect of PPD, high-fat diet induced obesity (DIO) C57BL/6 mice were treated with PPD by both intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) and oral administration. Body weight and food intake were recorded. Energy expenditure was measured by CLAMS metabolic cages. For mechanism study, C-Fos in the hypothalamus of the mice was stained following the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of PPD. Our results showed that with both injection and feeding, PPD reduced body weight, inhibited food intake, increased energy expenditure and improved liver damage in DIO mice. Mechanistically, i.c.v. injection of PPD inhibited feeding and increased C-Fos expression in paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH). The results suggest that PPD may reduce body weight of DIO mice via the activation of PVH neurons and PPD is a potential therapeutic candidate for the treatment of obesity.

Keywords: Energy metabolism; Food intake; Hypothalamus; Obesity; Protopanaxadiol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / injuries
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / cytology
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / metabolism
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Sapogenins / administration & dosage
  • Sapogenins / pharmacology*
  • Sapogenins / therapeutic use


  • Sapogenins
  • protopanaxadiol