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Zanthoxylum Ailanthoides Suppresses Oleic Acid-Induced Lipid Accumulation Through An Activation Of LKB1/AMPK Pathway In HepG2 Cells

Eun-Bin Kwon, Myung-Ji Kang, Soo-Yeon Kim, Yong-Moon Lee, Mi-Kyeong Lee, Heung Joo Yuk, Hyung Won Ryu, Su Ui Lee, Sei-Ryang Oh, Dong-Oh Moon, Hyun-Sun Lee, Mun-Ock Kim

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Zanthoxylum ailanthoides (ZA) has been used as folk medicines in East Asian and recently reported to have several bioactivity; however, the studies of ZA on the regulation of triacylglycerol (TG) biosynthesis have not been elucidated yet. In this study, we examined whether the methanol extract of ZA (ZA-M) could reduce oleic acid- (OA-) induced intracellular lipid accumulation and confirmed its mode of action in HepG2 cells. ZA-M was shown to promote the phosphorylation of AMPK and its upstream LKB1, followed by reduction of lipogenic gene expressions. As a result, treatment of ZA-M blocked de novo TG biosynthesis and subsequently mitigated intracellular neutral lipid accumulation in HepG2 cells. ZA-M also inhibited OA-induced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and TNF-α, suggesting that ZA-M possess the anti-inflammatory feature in fatty acid over accumulated condition. Taken together, these results suggest that ZA-M attenuates OA-induced lipid accumulation and inflammation through the activation of LKB1/AMPK signaling pathway in HepG2 cells.