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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 597067, 12 pages
Research Article

Validation of the Antidiabetic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Hawthorn by Assessment of Gluconeogenesis and Lipogenesis Related Genes and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphorylation

1Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, College of Health Science, Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No. 666, Buzih Road, Beitun District, Taichung City 40601, Taiwan
2Department of Internal Medicine, Fong-Yuan Hospital, Department of Health, Executive Yuan, No. 100, An-Kan Road, Fongyuan District, Taichung City 42055, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, China Medical University, No. 91, Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung City 40402, Taiwan

Received 24 May 2012; Accepted 20 February 2013

Academic Editor: Hyung-In Moon

Copyright © 2013 Chun-Ching Shih 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.


Since with the increased use of antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic effect of phytonutrients for daily supplement has gained considerable attention worldwide, we examine the effect and molecular mechanism of Crataegus pinnatifida Bge. var. major N.E. Br. (hawthorn) by quantifying the expression of hepatic gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis on diabetes and dyslipidemia in high-fat (HF)-fed C57BL/6J mice. Firstly, mice were divided randomly into two groups: the control (CON) group was fed with a low-fat diet, whereas the experimental group was fed a 45% HF diet for 8 weeks. Afterwards, the CON group was treated with vehicle, whereas the HF group was subdivided into five groups and was given orally hawthorn extract (including 0.2, 0.5, 1.0 g/kg/day extracts) or rosiglitazone (Rosi) or vehicle for 4 weeks afterward. Diabetic mice showed an increase in plasma glucose and insulin. Glucose lowering was comparable with Rosi-treated mice. This study demonstrated that hawthorn was effective in ameliorating the HF diet-induced hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolaemia. Hawthorn extract significantly increases the hepatic protein contents of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and reduces expression of phosphenol pyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose production. Furthermore, hawthorn decreased in hepatic triacylglycerol and cholesterol synthesis (including sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), fatty acid synthase (FAS), SREBP2). An increase in expressions of apoA-I gene and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was detected in HF-fed mice treated with high dose hawthorn. Our data suggest that hawthorn extract are capable of decreasing glucose production and triacylglycerol synthesis by inducing AMPK-phosphorylation and hawthorn is a candidate source of antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic phytonutrients factors.