RNA-seq Based Transcriptome Analysis of the Anti-Obesity Effect of Green Tea Extract Using Zebrafish Obesity Models

Molecules. 2019 Sep 6;24(18):3256. doi: 10.3390/molecules24183256.


Green tea is a popular beverage that is rich in polyphenolic compounds such as catechins. Its major content, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, has been shown to have beneficial effects on several diseases including cancer, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the anti-obesity effects and the underlying molecular mechanisms of green tea extract (GTE) using zebrafish larva and adult obesity models. We administered 100 μg/mL GTE to zebrafish larvae and performed a short-term obesogenic test. GTE significantly decreased the visceral adipose tissue volume induced by a high-fat diet. Oral administration (250 µg/g body weight/day) of GTE to adult diet-induced obese zebrafish also significantly reduced their visceral adipose tissue volume, with a reduction of plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. To investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the GTE effects, we conducted RNA sequencing using liver tissues of adult zebrafish and found that GTE may ameliorate the obese phenotypes via the activation of Wnt/β-catenin and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway signaling. In addition, the comparative transcriptome analysis revealed that zebrafish and mammals may share a common molecular response to GTE. Our findings suggest that daily consumption of green tea may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Keywords: RNA-seq; green tea extract; obesity; visceral adipose tissue; zebrafish.

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • RNA-Seq
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Transcriptome / drug effects*
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / genetics
  • Zebrafish


  • Antioxidants
  • Tea
  • Protein Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases