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Open AccessArticle

Astragalus Polysaccharide Improves Insulin Sensitivity via AMPK Activation in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

Department of Animal Sciences and Veterinary medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally to the work.
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2711;
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
PDF [2059 KB, uploaded 21 October 2018]


Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) is an important bioactive component of Astragalus membranaceus which is used as an anti-diabetes herb in traditional Chinese medicine. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects and mechanisms of APS on insulin-sensitizing of adipocytes. Mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were used as a model. The results showed that APS increased preadipocytes proliferation in a dose dependent manner, and 0.1 μg/mL APS sufficiently increased Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) content (p < 0.01). Moreover, APS enhanced intracellular lipid accumulation and mRNA expression of proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ, p < 0.01), CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα, p < 0.01) and fatty acid binding protein (aP2, p < 0.01). As expected, corresponding protein contents were elevated. Importantly, APS increased 2-(N-(7-Nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)Amino)-2-Deoxyglucose (2-NBDG) uptake (p < 0.01). Meanwhile, both mRNA and protein content of glucose transporter 4 (Glut4) were elevated by APS (p < 0.01). The APS treatment enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1, p < 0.05) and phosphor-Akt content (p < 0.01). Besides, phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) content was increased in the APS treated cells (p < 0.01). Taken together, APS improved insulin sensitivity by enhancing glucose uptake, possibly through AMPK activation. These results suggested that APS might be a therapeutic candidate for insulin resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: astragalus polysaccharide; adipogenesis; proliferation; insulin sensitivity; AMPK astragalus polysaccharide; adipogenesis; proliferation; insulin sensitivity; AMPK

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Zhang, R.; Qin, X.; Zhang, T.; Li, Q.; Zhang, J.; Zhao, J. Astragalus Polysaccharide Improves Insulin Sensitivity via AMPK Activation in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes. Molecules 2018, 23, 2711.

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