Research Papers: Pathology:

Dietary capsaicin and antibiotics act synergistically to reduce non-alcoholic fatty liver disease induced by high fat diet in mice

Jingjuan Hu, Haihua Luo, Yong Jiang and Peng Chen _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:38161-38175. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16975

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Jingjuan Hu1, Haihua Luo1, Yong Jiang1 and Peng Chen1

1 State Key Laboratory of Organ Failure Research, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Proteomics, Department of Pathophysiology, Southern Medical University, GuangZhou, China

Correspondence to:

Peng Chen, email:

Keywords: antibiotics, capsaicin, high fat diet, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Pathology Section

Received: November 03, 2016 Accepted: March 06, 2017 Published: April 08, 2017


The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is increasing rapidly worldwide. However, effective strategies for combating high-fat diet (HFD) induced obesity, fatty liver and metabolic disorder are still limited, and outcomes remain poor. In the present study, we evaluated the combined actions of dietary capsaicin and antibiotics on HFD-induced physiological abnormalities in mice. C57BL/6 male mice were fed with HFD (60% calories from fat) for 17 weeks, and the resultant pathophysiological effects were examined. Antibiotic treatment markedly attenuated gut inflammation and leakiness induced by HFD, whereas capsaicin showed limited effects on the gut. However, dietary capsaicin significantly increased PPAR-α expression in adipose tissue, while antibiotics had no such effect. Animals treated with a combination of capsaicin and antibiotics had the smallest body weight gain and fat pad index, as well as the lowest hepatic fat accumulation. Combination treatment also maximally improved insulin responsiveness, as indicated by insulin tolerance tests. These results suggest the co-treatment of capsaicin and antibiotics, a novel combination strategy, would play synergistically to attenuate the HFD-induced obesity, fatty liver and metabolic disorder.

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