Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates lipid and glucose metabolism. We investigated the effects of Labisia pumila (LP) standardized water extract on PPARgamma transcriptional activity in adipocytes in vitro and in vivo. We used a rat model of dihydrotestosterone- (DHT-) induced polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition characterized by insulin resistance. At 9 weeks of age, the PCOS rats were randomly subdivided into two groups: PCOS-LP (50 mg/kg/day of LP) and PCOS-control (1 mL of deionised water) for 4-5 weeks on the same schedule. Real-time RT-PCR was performed to determine the PPARgamma mRNA levels. LP upregulated PPARgamma mRNA level by 40% in the PCOS rats. Western blot analysis further demonstrated the increased PPARgamma protein levels in parallel with upregulation in mRNA. These observations were further proven by adipocytes culture. Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with final concentration of 100 μ g/mL LP and compared to untreated control and 10 μ M of rosiglitazone (in type of thiazolidinediones). LP increased PPARgamma expressions at both mRNA and protein levels and enhanced the effect of glucose uptake in the insulin-resistant cells. The data suggest that LP may ameliorate insulin resistance in adipocytes via the upregulation of PPARgamma pathway.
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