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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 7971842, 10 pages
Research Article

Galangin and Pinocembrin from Propolis Ameliorate Insulin Resistance in HepG2 Cells via Regulating Akt/mTOR Signaling

1Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
2College of Food Engineering, Harbin University of Commerce, Harbin 150076, China
3National Research Center of Bee Product Processing, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100093, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Wenjun Peng; moc.anis.piv@nujnewgnep and Hongcheng Zhang; moc.qq@478414064

Received 10 July 2018; Accepted 16 October 2018; Published 21 October 2018

Academic Editor: Nunziatina De Tommasi

Copyright © 2018 Yinkang Liu 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.


Insulin resistance has a critical role in type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of pinobanksin, galangin, chrysin, and pinocembrin from propolis on insulin resistance. Our study shows that galangin and pinocembrin can ameliorate insulin resistance; on the contrary, pinobanksin and chrysin are ineffective. Galangin and pinocembrin treatments substantially increase glucose consumption and glycogen content by enhancing the activities of hexokinase and pyruvate kinase. Galangin treatment with 80 μM increased hexokinase and pyruvate kinase activities by 21.94% and 29.12%, respectively. Moreover, we hypothesize that galangin and pinocembrin may have a synergistic effect on the improvement of insulin resistance via Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, through distinctly upregulating the phosphorylation of IR, Akt, and GSK3β and remarkably downregulating the phosphorylation of IRS. Most notably, this is the first study to our knowledge to investigate pinocembrin about the alleviation of insulin resistance. Our results provide compelling evidence for the depth development of propolis products to ameliorate insulin resistance.