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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 737263, 8 pages
Research Article

Leucaena leucocephala Fruit Aqueous Extract Stimulates Adipogenesis, Lipolysis, and Glucose Uptake in Primary Rat Adipocytes

1Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Faculty of Medicine, Segi University, Selangor 47810, Malaysia

Received 11 May 2014; Revised 18 July 2014; Accepted 19 July 2014; Published 10 August 2014

Academic Editor: Run-Cang Sun

Copyright © 2014 Umah Rani Kuppusamy 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.


Leucaena leucocephala had been traditionally used to treat diabetes. The present study was designed to evaluate in vitro “insulin-like” activities of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) deWit. aqueous fruit extract on lipid and glucose metabolisms. The ability of the extract to stimulate adipogenesis, inhibit lipolysis, and activate radio-labeled glucose uptake was assessed using primary rat adipocytes. Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR was performed to investigate effects of the extract on expression levels of genes (protein kinases B, AKT; glucose transporter 4, GLUT4; hormone sensitive lipase, HSL; phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases, PI3KA; sterol regulatory element binding factor 1, Srebp1) involved in insulin-induced signaling pathways. L. leucocephala aqueous fruit extract stimulated moderate adipogenesis and glucose uptake into adipocytes when compared to insulin. Generally, the extract exerted a considerable level of lipolytic effect at lower concentration but decreased gradually at higher concentration. The findings concurred with RT-PCR analysis. The expressions of GLUT4 and HSL genes were upregulated by twofold and onefold, respectively, whereas AKT, PI3KA, and Srebp1 genes were downregulated. The L. leucocephala aqueous fruit extract may be potentially used as an adjuvant in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and weight management due to its enhanced glucose uptake and balanced adipogenesis and lipolysis properties.