Effects of pterostilbene in brown adipose tissue from obese rats
In recent years, much attention has been paid by the scientific community to phenolic compounds as active biomolecules naturally present in foods. Pterostilbene is a resveratrol dimethylether derivative which shows higher bioavailability. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of pterostilbene on brown adipose tissue thermogenic markers in a model of genetic obesity, which shows reduced thermogenesis. The experiment was conducted with 30 Zucker (fa/fa) rats that were distributed in three experimental groups: control and two groups orally administered with pterostilbene at 15 and 30 mg/kg body weight/day for 6 weeks. Gene expression of uncoupling protein 1 (Ucp1), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1 α (Pgc-1α), carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1b (Cpt1b), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (Pparα), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (Nfr1), and cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2); protein expression of PPARα, PGC-1α, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), UCP1 and glucose transporter (GLUT4); and enzyme activity of CPT 1b and citrate synthase (CS) were assessed in interscapular brown adipose tissue. With the exception of Pgc-1α expression, all these parameters were significantly increased by pterostilbene administration. These results show for the first time that pterostilbene increases thermogenic and oxidative capacity of brown adipose tissue in obese rats. Whether these effects effectively contribute to the antiobesity properties of these compound needs further research.