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ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 947323, 11 pages
Research Article

Sterculic Oil, a Natural SCD1 Inhibitor, Improves Glucose Tolerance in Obese ob/ob Mice

1Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2Department of Food Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
4Department of Internal Medicine-Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
5Division of Research Service, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Medical Center, Columbia, MO 65201, USA
6Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Received 16 September 2012; Accepted 4 October 2012

Academic Editors: E. Al-Dujaili, B. Larijani, E. Spinedi, and J.-F. Tanti

Copyright © 2012 Laura C. Ortinau 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.


Obesity and its metabolic complications are associated with increased expression/activity of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), a major regulator of lipid metabolism. Reduction or ablation of this enzyme is associated with an improved metabolic profile and has gained attention as a target for pharmaceutical development. Sterculic oil (SO) is a known inhibitor of SCD1 and may provide a natural approach for treating obesity and/or insulin resistance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of SO consumption in leptin-deficient ob/ob mice, a model of obesity and insulin resistance. Five-week-old male mice received either an AIN-93G (control) or an AIN-93G diet containing 0.5% SO. After 9 weeks, SO supplementation did not alter food intake or body weight; however, the desaturase indices, a proxy of SCD1 activity, were reduced in liver and adipose tissue of SO-supplemented animals. This reduction was associated with improved glucose and insulin tolerance and attenuated hepatic inflammation in obese ob/ob mice, while no appreciable changes were observed in lean control mice receiving SO. Future studies are needed to better understand the mechanism(s) by which SO is functioning to improve glucose metabolism and to further explore the nutraceutical potential and health implications of SO supplementation.