American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism

Pycnogenol protects against diet-induced hepatic steatosis in apolipoprotein-E-deficient mice.

PMID 29462565


PycnogenolR (PYC), a combination of active flavonoids derived from French maritime pine bark, is a natural antioxidant that has various pharmacological activities. Here, we investigated the beneficial effect of PYC on diet-induced hepatic steatosis. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-deficient male mice were administered PYC at oral doses of 30 or 100 mg·kg-1·day-1 for 2 wk in advance and were then fed a high-cholesterol and -fat diet (HCD) for 8 wk. Biochemical, immunohistochemical, and gene expression analyses were conducted to explore the effect of PYC on lipid metabolism in ApoE-deficient mice on a HCD. Short-term treatment with HCD in ApoE-deficient mice induced hepatic injuries, such as lipid metabolism disorder and hepatic histopathological changes. We found that PYC reduced body weight and the increase of serum lipids that had been caused by HCD. Supplementation of PYC significantly reduced lipid deposition in the liver, as shown by the lowered hepatic lipid content and histopathological lesions. We subsequently detected genes related to lipid metabolism and inflammatory cytokines. The study showed that PYC markedly suppressed the expression of genes related to hepatic lipogenesis, fatty acid uptake, and lipid storage while increasing the lipolytic gene, which thus reduced hepatic lipid content. Furthermore, PYC mainly reduced the expression of inflammatory cytokines and the infiltration of inflammatory cells, which were resistant to the development of hepatic steatosis. These results demonstrate that PYC protects against the occurrence and development of hepatic steatosis and may provide a new prophylactic approach for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).