Fruit Aqueous Extract Stimulates Adipogenesis, Lipolysis, and Glucose Uptake in Primary Rat Adipocytes
Leucaena leucocephala had been traditionally used to treat diabetes. The present study was designed to evaluate in vitro “insulin-like” activities of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) deWit. aqueous fruit extract on lipid and glucose metabolisms. The ability of the extract to stimulate adipogenesis, inhibit lipolysis, and activate radio-labeled glucose uptake was assessed using primary rat adipocytes. Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR was performed to investigate effects of the extract on expression levels of genes (protein kinases B, AKT; glucose transporter 4, GLUT4; hormone sensitive lipase, HSL; phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases, PI3KA; sterol regulatory element binding factor 1, Srebp1) involved in insulin-induced signaling pathways. L. leucocephala aqueous fruit extract stimulated moderate adipogenesis and glucose uptake into adipocytes when compared to insulin. Generally, the extract exerted a considerable level of lipolytic effect at lower concentration but decreased gradually at higher concentration. The findings concurred with RT-PCR analysis. The expressions of GLUT4 and HSL genes were upregulated by twofold and onefold, respectively, whereas AKT, PI3KA, and Srebp1 genes were downregulated. The L. leucocephala aqueous fruit extract may be potentially used as an adjuvant in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and weight management due to its enhanced glucose uptake and balanced adipogenesis and lipolysis properties.