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Artemisinin mimics nitric oxide to reduce adipose weight by targeting mitochondrial complexes

By Qian Gao, Jiang He, Tao Liao, Yan-Ping Chen, Li-Li Tan, Ji-Da Zhang, Chang-Qing Li, Qing Zeng, Qi Wang, Shui-Qing Huang, Xin-An Huang, Qin Xu, Qing-Ping Zeng

Posted 29 Jun 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/157396

It remains obscure how to medically manage visceral obesity that predisposes metabolic disorders. Here, we show for the first time that a trace amount of artemisinin (0.25 mg/kg) reduces adipose weight in an inflammatory obese mouse model induced by a high-fat diet with lipopolysaccharide (HFD+LPS). HFD+LPS trigger pro-inflammatory responses, upregulate NOS2 expression, elicit potent nitric oxide (NO) burst, and reinforce adipose mitochondrial dysfunctions that facilitate adipogenesis for visceral weight gain. By targeting mitochondrial complexes, artemisinin resembles the NO donor nitroglycerin to exert anti-inflammatory effects, downregulate NOS2 expression, maintain stable NO release, and augment adipose mitochondrial functions that necessitate adipolysis for visceral weight loss. Taken together, artemisinin plays adipose weight-reducing roles by rectifying inflammation-driven mitochondrial dysfunctions.

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