In this study, the role of non-viable Lactobacillus johnsonii
JNU3402 (NV-LJ3402) in diet-induced obesity was investigated in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). To determine whether NV-LJ3402 exhibits a protective effect against diet-induced obesity, 7-week-old male C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal diet, an HFD, or an HFD with NV-LJ3402 for 14 weeks. NV-LJ3402 administration was associated with a significant reduction in body weight gain and in liver, epididymal, and inguinal white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue weight in HFD-fed mice. Concomitantly, NV-LJ3402 administration to HFD-fed mice also decreased the triglyceride levels in the plasma and metabolic tissues and slightly improved insulin resistance. Furthermore, NV-LJ3402 enhanced gene programming for energy dissipation in the WATs of HFD-fed mice as well as in 3T3-L1 adipocytes with increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) transcriptional activity, suggesting that the PPARγ pathway plays a key role in mediating the anti-obesity effect of NV-LJ3402 in HFD-fed mice. Furthermore, NV-LJ3402 administration in HFD-fed mice enhanced mitochondrial levels and function in WATs and also increased the body temperature upon cold exposure. Together, these results suggest that NV-LJ3402 could be safely used to develop dairy products that ameliorate diet-induced obesity and hyperlipidemia.
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