Treatment with Parkinsonia aculeata combats insulin resistance-induced oxidative stress through the increase in PPARγ/CuZn-SOD axis expression in diet-induced obesity mice
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Parkinsonia aculeata L. (Caesalpiniaceae) is a traditional ethnomedicine and has been used for the empiric treatment of hyperglycemia, without scientific background. Mechanistic analyses at molecular level from the antioxidant mechanism observed by P. aculeata are required. Herein the effects of the treatment by hydroethanolic extract partitioned with ethyl acetate of P. aculeata aerial parts (HEPa/EtOAc) in mice fed a high-fat diet that share many obesity phenotypes with humans were evaluated. The animals were treated orally with HEPa/EtOAc (125 and 250 mg/kg/day) and pioglitazone (5 mg/kg/day), for 16 days. After the treatment, HEPa/EtOAc reduced fasting serum glucose and insulin levels, as well as homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance. In addition, an improvement in glucose intolerance was also observed. Indeed, a reduction in the circulating levels of TNF-α and IL-6 was also observed. Furthermore, at molecular level, it was demonstrated that the HEPa/EtOAc treatment was able to improve these physiological parameters, through the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) per si, as well as the enhancement of antioxidant mechanism by an increase in PPARγ/Cu2+, Zn2+-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) axis expression in liver and adipose tissue. In sum, P. aculeata is effective to improve insulin resistance in a mouse model of obesity and this effect seems to involve the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms through the increase in PPARγ/CuZn-SOD axis expression.