Bitter melon seed oil-attenuated body fat accumulation in diet-induced obese mice is associated with cAMP-dependent protein kinase activation and cell death in white adipose tissue.
The aim of this study was to investigate the antiadiposity effect of bitter melon seed oil (BMSO), which is rich in the cis-9, trans-11, trans-13 isomer of conjugated linolenic acid. In Expt. 1, C57BL/6J mice were fed a butter-based, high-fat diet [HB; 29% butter + 1% soybean oil (SBO)] for 10 wk to induce obesity. They then continued to receive that diet or were switched to an SBO-based, high-fat diet alone (HS; 30% SBO) or containing bitter melon seed oil (BMSO) (HBM; 15% SBO + 15% BMSO) for 5 wk. The body fat percentage was significantly lower in mice fed the HBM diet (21%), but not the HS diet, compared with mice fed the HB diet. In Expt. 2, mice were fed an SBO-based, high-fat diet containing 0 (HS), 5 (LBM), 10 (MBM), or 15% (HBM) BMSO for 10 wk. In the LBM, MBM, and HBM groups, the body fat percentage was significantly lower by 32, 35, and 65%, respectively, compared with the HS control. The reduction in the HBM group was significantly greater than that in the LBM or MBM group. BMSO administration increased phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, cAMP-activated protein kinase (PKA), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in the white adipose tissue (WAT), suggesting that PKA and leptin signaling might be involved in the BMSO-mediated reduction in lipogenesis and increase in thermogenesis and lipolysis. However, compared with the HS control, the HBM group had a significantly higher TNF? concentration in the WAT accompanied by TUNEL-positive nuclei. We conclude that BMSO is effective in attenuating body fat accumulation through mechanisms associated with PKA activation and programmed cell death in the WAT, but safety concerns need to be carefully addressed.