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Pomegranate and green tea extracts protect against ER stress induced by a high-fat diet in skeletal muscle of mice

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We tested the hypothesis that polyphenol-rich extracts can reduce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) in skeletal muscle of mice.


Mice were randomly assigned to four groups receiving during 20 weeks either a standard chow control (CTRL), or a HFD supplemented, or not, with pomegranate (HFD + P) or green tea (HFD + GT) extracts. After the nutritional intervention, mice were killed and gastrocnemius muscles were taken. Proteins and mRNA were measured by Western blot and RT-qPCR, respectively.


Body weight gain and visceral fat were higher in HFD, HFD + P and HFD + GT than in CTRL. The markers of the unfolded protein response BiP, XBP1u, XBP1s and ATF4 were higher only in HFD. In HFD + P and HFD + GT, this increase was not observed except for CHOP, which was elevated in all HFD groups. HFD increased also markers of ubiquitin–proteasome pathway, autophagy and oxidative stress, which were kept low in HFD + P and HFD + GT groups.


Our data provide evidence for a protective effect of pomegranate and green tea extracts against ER stress, oxidative stress and protein degradation induced by HFD in skeletal muscle. They give arguments for a usefulness of these natural nutritional compounds to fight against cellular dysfunctions related to fat excess.

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Endoplasmic reticulum


Unfolded protein response


High-fat diet


Epigallocatechin gallate




Green tea


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This work was supported by the “Chaire Delhaize” of the “Fondation Louvain” (Belgium). JR is a recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship financed by ELEONOR sprl. HG was a postdoctoral fellow supported by the “Chaire Delhaize”.

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Marc Francaux.

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Rodriguez, J., Gilson, H., Jamart, C. et al. Pomegranate and green tea extracts protect against ER stress induced by a high-fat diet in skeletal muscle of mice. Eur J Nutr 54, 377–389 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-014-0717-9

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  • High-fat diet
  • Unfolded protein response
  • Polyphenols
  • Protein degradation
  • Oxidative stress