Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 28, 2019; 25(8): 955-966
Published online Feb 28, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i8.955
Procyanidin B2 protects against diet-induced obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease via the modulation of the gut microbiota in rabbits
Ya-Wei Xing, Guang-Tao Lei, Qing-Hua Wu, Yu Jiang, Man-Xiang Huang
Ya-Wei Xing, Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan Province, China
Guang-Tao Lei, Qing-Hua Wu, Yu Jiang, Man-Xiang Huang, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi Province, China
Author contributions: Lei GT designed the research; Xing YW performed the research; Wu QH funded the research; Jiang Y and Huang MX analyzed and interpreted the data; Xing YW wrote the paper.
Supported by Major Projects of Science and Technology in Jiangxi, No. 20161ACG70012.
Institutional animal care and use committee statement: This study was approved by the Animal Research Committee, Central South University, Hunan, China.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interests.
Data sharing statement: Raw sequencing data are available from the corresponding author at Participants gave informed consent for data sharing.
ARRIVE guidelines statement: The authors have read the ARRIVE guidelines, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the ARRIVE guideline.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Guang-Tao Lei, MD, Chief Doctor, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, 1st Minde Road, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi Province, China.
Telephone: +86-13257090106 Fax: +86-791-86311676
Received: December 17, 2018
Peer-review started: December 17, 2018
First decision: January 18, 2019
Revised: January 25, 2019
Accepted: January 28, 2019
Article in press: January 29, 2019
Published online: February 28, 2019
Research background

The mechanism of procyanidin to improve metabolic syndrome mainly focuses on its antioxidant effect. The latest studies show that procyanidin have commendable antibacterial properties. The evaluation of remodeling gut microbiota in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by procyanidin may provide a new therapeutic trend.

Research motivation

Procyanidin has been reported to improve dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and oxidative stress through its anti-oxidative properties. However, procyanidin is a natural plant compound, and its bioavailability in humans is low. The low levels of procyanidin B2 (PB2) in the body make their superior effects difficult to explain. The mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of procyanidin remains largely unknown.

Research objectives

To validate the effect of procyanidin on NAFLD and to clarify the possible mechanism of action.

Research methods

New Zealand white rabbits were fed chow or high-fat-cholesterol diet (HCD) for 12 wk. The body weight was investigated every week. The serum samples were analyzed after a 12-wk time. Hematoxylin and eosin staining of liver samples were performed, and fatty acid synthesis genes of liver were evaluated. The gut microbiota was sequenced by 16S rRNA analysis.

Research results

Our results show that procyanidin is associated with alleviated hepatic steatosis, decrease serum lipid, suppressed gut inflammation, and remolded gut microbiota.

Research conclusions

Procyanidin treatment protects against HCD-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and liver steatosis in rabbits. These effects were associated with the alleviation of intestinal inflammation and endotoxemia.

Research perspectives

Plant compounds, such as procyanidin, should be further explored for their potential therapeutic activity in NAFLD.