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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 926942, 13 pages
Research Article

2-Heptyl-Formononetin Increases Cholesterol and Induces Hepatic Steatosis in Mice

1Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
3Department of Food Science, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
4Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
5Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

Received 2 January 2013; Revised 15 March 2013; Accepted 26 March 2013

Academic Editor: Kazim Husain

Copyright © 2013 Charlotte Andersen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Consumption of isoflavones may prevent adiposity, hepatic steatosis, and dyslipidaemia. However, studies in the area are few and primarily with genistein. This study investigated the effects of formononetin and its synthetic analogue, 2-heptyl-formononetin (C7F), on lipid and cholesterol metabolism in C57BL/6J mice. The mice were fed a cholesterol-enriched diet for five weeks to induce hypercholesterolemia and were then fed either the cholesterol-enriched diet or the cholesterol-enriched diet-supplemented formononetin or C7F for three weeks. Body weight and composition, glucose homeostasis, and plasma lipids were compared. In another experiment, mice were fed the above diets for five weeks, and hepatic triglyceride accumulation and gene expression and histology of adipose tissue and liver were examined. Supplementation with C7F increased plasma HDL-cholesterol thereby increasing the plasma level of total cholesterol. Supplementation with formononetin did not affect plasma cholesterol but increased plasma triglycerides levels. Supplementation with formononetin and C7F induced hepatic steatosis. However, formononetin decreased markers of inflammation and liver injury. The development of hepatic steatosis was associated with deregulated expression of hepatic genes involved in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. In conclusion, supplementation with formononetin and C7F to a cholesterol-enriched diet adversely affected lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in C57BL/6J mice.