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Dietary Bitter Melon Seed Increases Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ Gene Expression in Adipose Tissue, Down-Regulates the Nuclear Factor-κB Expression, and Alleviates the Symptoms Associated with Metabolic Syndrome

Gadang, Vidya, Gilbert, William, Hettiararchchy, Navam, Horax, Ronny, Katwa, Laxmansa, Devareddy, Latha
Journal of medicinal food 2011 v.14 no.1-2 pp. 86-93
Momordica charantia, blood glucose, blood serum, cardioprotective effect, cholesterol, diet, gene expression, gene expression regulation, heart, insulin, interferon-gamma, liver, messenger RNA, metabolic syndrome, rats, triacylglycerols, white adipose tissue
The objective of this study was to examine the extent to which bitter melon seed (BMS) alleviates the symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and elucidate the mechanism by which BMS exerts beneficial effects. Three-month-old female Zucker rats were assigned to following groups: lean control (L-Ctrl), obese control (O-Ctrl), and obese + BMS (O-BMS). The control groups were fed AIN-93M purified rodent diet, and the O-BMS group was fed AIN-93M diet modified to contain 3.0% (wt/wt) ground BMS for 100 days. After 100 days of treatment, BMS supplementation in the obese rats lowered the total serum cholesterol by 38% and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels by about 52% and increased the ratio of serum high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol to total cholesterol compared to the O-Ctrl group. The percentage of total liver lipids was about 32% lower and serum triglyceride levels were 71% higher in the O-BMS group compared to the O-Ctrl group. Serum glucose levels were significantly lowered partly because of the increase in the serum insulin levels in the BMS-based diet groups. BMS supplementation increased the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) in the white adipose tissue of the obese rats significantly (P < .05) and down-regulated the expression of PPAR-γ, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and interferon-γ mRNA in heart tissue of the obese rats. The findings of this study suggest that BMS improves the serum and liver lipid profiles and serum glucose levels by modulating PPAR-γ gene expression. To our knowledge, this study for the first time shows that BMS exerts cardioprotective effects by down-regulating the NF-κB inflammatory pathway.