The prevalence of obesity and associated metabolic disorders, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is rapidly becoming a severe global health problem. Recent reports have suggested that the alteration of the gut ecosystem through the consumption of probiotics and fermented foods, such as yogurt and Kimchi, can significantly impact obesity and Type 2 diabetes (T2D)-related biomarkers. In this study, we screened over 400 strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that were isolated from fermented foods to identify potent anti-obesogenic and diabetic probiotics in vitro. Of the strains tested, Lactobacillus plantarum
Ln4 (Ln4), which was obtained from napa cabbage kimchi, significantly reduced lipid accumulation and stimulated glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Oral administration of Ln4 reduced weight gain and epididymal fat mass in mice fed on a high-fat diet (HFD). Total plasma triglyceride level was significantly lower in mice that were treated Ln4 as compared with mice fed HFD. The protein levels of adipokines such as C-reactive protein (CRP), insulin-like growth factor binding proteins-3 (IGFBP-3), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) decreased in white adipose tissues of Ln4-treated mice. Furthermore, these mice exhibited a significant reduction of insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) and the improvement of glucose tolerance (OGTT) and insulin response (ITT) following Ln4 administration. This was associated with changes in several hepatic gene expressions (increased mRNA levels of IRS2, Akt2, AMPK, LPL, and reduced CD36) that regulate glucose and lipid metabolism. Taken together, these results indicate that in vitro and in vivo Ln4 treatment attenuates diet-induced obesity and T2D biomarkers, highlighting the potential of Ln4 as a therapeutic probiotic agent for metabolic disorders.
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