Alois Jungbauer, Svjetlana Medjakovic and Stefanie Hobiger
The remodeling of lipids in adipocytes is an interesting property of compounds with the ability to ameliorate metabolic syndrome. In this study, the binding affinity of pomegranate to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) was compared with plant extracts that are commercially on offer as anti-diabetic dietary supplements such as cinnamon, purslane, grape wine, bitter melon, Kothala himbutu, and Coccinia indica. This receptor is a drug target for diabetes type 2. One of the most potent pomegranate extracts was selected and tested in a murine 3T3-L1 cell system to examine effects on adipocyte differentiation. Pomegranate extracts had an extremely high binding affinity for PPARγ, which was several fold higher in comparison to other tested extracts. Pomegranate extract also modulated adipocyte differentiation, which resulted in lipid remodeling and the formation of micro-lipid droplets, which increases total lipid droplet surface area to volume ratio and enables an easier lipid breakdown due to lipolysis. The results corroborate the hypothesis that pomegranate has a benevolent impact on obesity and diabetes type 2. As modulator of PPARγ and the adipose tissue, pomegranate is a promising plant for the amelioration of metabolic syndrome.