Obesity has been increasing globally for over three decades. According to previous studies, dietary obesity is usually associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and STAT3 signaling, which result in interference with the homeostatic control of energy and lipid metabolism. Ginsenosides (GS) administered to mice will modulate adiposity and food intake; however, the mechanism of food inhibition is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether GS may inhibit ERS and regulate STAT3 phosphorylation in GT1‑7 cells (a mouse hypothalamus gonadotropin‑releasing hormone neuron cell line) and the hypothalamus in order to reduce the body weight and ameliorate hepatic steatosis in high fat diet (HFD)‑induced obese mice. In the present study, GS inhibited the appetite, reduced the body weight, visceral fat, body fat content and blood glucose, and ameliorated the glucose tolerance of the obese mice compared with HFD mice. In addition, the levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, triglyceride (TG), leptin and insulin in the serum were reduced compared with HFD mice. There was less TG in the liver, but more in the feces compared with HFD mice. Using hematoxylin and eosin staining of HepG2 cells and liver tissues, GS were demonstrated to improve the non‑alcoholic fatty liver of the HFD‑induced obese mice and reduce the diameter of the fat cells compared with HFD mice. GS also increased oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the metabolic cage data compared with HFD mice. In the GT1‑7 cells, GS alleviated the ERS induced by tunicamycin and enhanced the activation of the STAT3 phosphorylation pathway. Furthermore the ERS of the liver was relieved to achieve the aforementioned pharmacological effects. GS were used in the homeostatic control of the energy and lipid metabolism of a diet‑induced obesity model. In conclusion, present studies suggest that GS exert these effects by increasing STAT3 phosphorylation expression and reducing the ERS. Thus, GS reduce body weight and ameliorate hepatic steatosis in HFD‑induced obese mice.
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