Ginkgolide C, isolated from Ginkgo biloba, is a diterpene lactone that has multiple biological functions and can improve Alzheimer disease and platelet aggregation. Ginkgolide C also inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The present study evaluated whether ginkgolide C reduced lipid accumulation and regulated the molecular mechanism of lipogenesis in oleic acid-induced HepG2 hepatocytes. HepG2 cells were treated with 0.5 mM oleic acid for 48 h to induce a fatty liver cell model. Then, the cells were exposed to various concentrations of ginkgolide C for 24 h. Staining with Oil Red O and the fluorescent dye BODIPY 493/503 revealed that ginkgolide C significantly reduced excessive lipid accumulation in HepG2 cells. Ginkgolide C decreased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c to block the expression of fatty acid synthase. Ginkgolide C treatment also promoted the expression of adipose triglyceride lipase and the phosphorylation level of hormone-sensitive lipase to enhance the decomposition of triglycerides. In addition, ginkgolide C stimulated CPT-1 to activate fatty acid β-oxidation, significantly increased sirt1 and phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and decreased expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase for suppressed fatty acid synthesis in hepatocytes. Taken together, our results suggest that ginkgolide C reduced lipid accumulation and increased lipolysis through the sirt1/AMPK pathway in oleic acid-induced fatty liver cells.
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