Ginsenoside F2 (GF2) is a protopanaxdiol saponin from Panax ginseng leaves and possesses many potential pharmacological properties. GF2 may prevent obesity by directly binding to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and inhibiting adipocyte differentiation. However, the mechanism by which GF2 alleviates obesity is unknown. We therefore explored the anti-adipogenesis and anti-obesity effects of GF2 in vitro and in vivo. GF2 inhibited differentiation and reduced the triglyceride (TG) content of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes in the early stage of adipogenesis. Administration of GF2 (50 and 100 mg/kg) to obese mice for 4 weeks reduced the body weight gain, weight of adipose tissues, adipocyte size, and total cholesterol, TG, and AST levels in serum. RNA sequencing and real-time quantitative PCR indicated that GF2 decreased the expression levels of adipokines, including PPARγ, fatty acid synthase, and adiponectin. KEGG enrichment and western blot analyses demonstrated that GF2 accelerated the phosphorylation of AMPK and ACC in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, GF2 promoted the biosynthesis of mitochondria in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and increased the expression of antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and GSH-Px in the liver of obese mice. Therefore, GF2 suppressed adipogenesis and obesity by regulating the expression of adipokines and activating the AMPK pathway. Hence, the findings suggest that GF2 may have potential therapeutic implications to treat obesity.
Keywords: 3T3-L1 preadipocytes; AMPK; anti-obesity; ginsenoside F2; high-fat diet.