Epigallocatechin-3-gallate ameliorates hepatic damages by relieve FGF21 resistance and promotion of FGF21-AMPK pathway in mice fed a high fat diet

Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2022 Apr 13;14(1):53. doi: 10.1186/s13098-022-00823-y.


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered to be one of the most common chronic liver diseases across worldwide. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) derived from extract of green tea and is well known for beneficial effects on anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activity. The present study aimed to implore its underlying mechanism for protective effect of NAFLD.

Methods: Mice were fed either high fat diet (HFD) or chow diet with or without EGCG treatment in HFD group, for up to 16 weeks. Histopathology, expression of lipid and glucose metabolism and lipogenesis-related gene expression were assessed. Primary mouse hepatocytes were treated with free fatty acids combined with different doses of EGCG for 48 h, expression of lipid and lipogenesis-related gene expression were assessed.

Results: The results showed that EGCG attenuated HFD- and FFA-induced lipid accumulation in vivo and in vitro. EGCG can decrease the oxidative stress and promote Nrf2 level. Meanwhile EGCG alleviated FGF21 resistance and elevated FGFR/AMPK expression, which suggested an unrecognized mechanism of EGCG in ameliorating NAFLD.

Conclusions: EGCG attenuated hepatocytes damage and dysfunction in NAFLD by alleviating FGF21 resistance and improve FGFR/AMPK pathway, mitigating oxidative stress. Our studies verified that EGCG may become a promising drug to treat or relieve NAFLD.

Keywords: EGCG; FGF21–AMPK; NAFLD.