Antidiabetic Effect of Urolithin A in Cultured L6 Myotubes and Type 2 Diabetic Model KK-Ay/Ta Mice with Glucose Intolerance

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2024 Jan 24;46(2):1078-1090. doi: 10.3390/cimb46020068.


Diabetes is caused by abnormal glucose metabolism, and muscle, the largest tissue in the human body, is largely involved. Urolithin A (UroA) is a major intestinal and microbial metabolite of ellagic acid and ellagitannins and is found in fruits such as strawberry and pomegranate. In this present study, we investigated the antidiabetic effects of UroA in L6 myotubes and in KK-Ay/Ta, a mouse model of type 2 diabetes (T2D). UroA treatment elevated the glucose uptake (GU) of L6 myotubes in the absence of insulin. This elevation in GU by UroA treatment was partially inhibited by the concurrent addition of LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) which activates Akt (PKB: protein kinase B) or Compound C, an inhibitor of 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Moreover, UroA was found to activate both pathways of Akt and AMPK, and then to promote translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) from the cytosol to the plasma membrane in L6 myotubes. Based on these in vitro findings, an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) was performed after the oral administration of UroA for 3 weeks to KK-Ay/Ta mice with glucose intolerance. UroA was demonstrated to alleviate glucose intolerance. These results suggest that UroA is a biofactor with antihyperglycemic effects in the T2D state.

Keywords: AMPK; Akt; GLUT4; IPGTT; KK-Ay/Ta mouse; L6 myotube; PI3K; glucose intolerance; type 2 diabetes; urolithin A.