In Vitro and In Vivo Nutraceutical Characterization of Two Chickpea Accessions: Differential Effects on Hepatic Lipid Over-Accumulation

Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Mar 24;9(3):268. doi: 10.3390/antiox9030268.


Dietary habits are crucially important to prevent the development of lifestyle-associated diseases. Diets supplemented with chickpeas have numerous benefits and are known to improve body fat composition. The present study was undertaken to characterize two genetically and phenotypically distinct accessions, MG_13 and PI358934, selected from a global chickpea collection. Rat hepatoma FaO cells treated with a mixture of free fatty acids (FFAs) (O/P) were used as an in vitro model of hepatic steatosis. In parallel, a high-fat diet (HFD) animal model was also established. In vitro and in vivo studies revealed that both chickpea accessions showed a significant antioxidant ability. However, only MG_13 reduced the lipid over-accumulation in steatotic FaO cells and in the liver of HFD fed mice. Moreover, mice fed with HFD + MG_13 displayed a lower level of glycemia and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) than HFD mice. Interestingly, exposure to MG_13 prevented the phosphorylation of the inflammatory nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB) which is upregulated during HFD and known to be linked to obesity. To conclude, the comparison of the two distinct chickpea accessions revealed a beneficial effect only for the MG_13. These findings highlight the importance of studies addressing the functional characterization of chickpea biodiversity and nutraceutical properties.

Keywords: ROS; hepatic steatosis; legumes; lipid dyshomeostasis; liver.