News on Research

New Mechanism in Treating Fatty Liver Discovered by Researchers at the SHUTCM


Recently, researchers at the SHUTCM discovered the new mechanism regardingthe role of Ginseng in weight loss and fatty liver, according to an academic paper published in Scientific Reports.

In Chinese medicine, Ginseng is the first option to reinforce qi. Some scholars also reported its role in the management of metabolic disorders including obesity and hyperlipidemia. However, its active componentsand action mechanism remain unclear. Instructed by Prof. Huang Cheng from the School of Chinese Materia Medica and Prof. Ji Guang from the Research Institute of Gastroenterology, Zhang Yu, a doctoral student at the SHUTCM discovered that protopanaxatriol is a PPAR antagonist of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor γ after screening approximately 1,000 compounds. The PPAR γ agonist is an insulin sensitizer and therefore used to treat Type 2 diabetes. However, one of its side effects is weight gain. This study discovered its functions as drug targets from multipleangles. As the major ingredient and metabolic products of Ginseng, through inhibiting the transcriptional activity of PPAR γ, protopanaxatriol can substantially reduce the weight of obese mice induced by high-fat forage and improve this mouse and fatty liver of ob/ob mice due to a mutation in the leptin. This discovery disclosed the new mechanism of Ginseng in weight loss and treating fatty liverand might provide solid basis for the development and use of protopanaxatriolin metabolic disorders.

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation and Connation Construction Project for Shanghai Higher-Learning Institutions.