Astragalus Polysaccharide Improves Insulin Sensitivity via AMPK Activation in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

Ruixin Zhang , Xuze Qin , Ting Zhang, Qian Li, Jianxin Zhang and Junxing Zhao *

Department of Animal Sciences and Veterinary medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801, China; (R.Z.); (X.Q.); (T.Z.); (Q.L.); (J.Z.)
* Correspondence:; Tel.: +86-354-6288335
These authors contribute equally to the work.

Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) is an important bioactive component of Astragalus membranaceus which is used as an anti-diabetes herb in traditional Chinese medicine. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects and mechanisms of APS on insulin-sensitizing of adipocytes. Mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were used as a model. The results showed that APS increased preadipocytes proliferation in a dose dependent manner, and 0.1 g/mL APS sufficiently increased Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) content (p < 0.01). Moreover, APS enhanced intracellular lipid accumulation and mRNA expression of proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR ,p < 0.01), CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα, p < 0.01) and fatty acid binding protein (aP2, p < 0.01). As expected, corresponding protein contents were elevated. Importantly, APS increased 2-(N-(7-Nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)Amino)-2-Deoxyglucose (2-NBDG) uptake (p < 0.01). Meanwhile, both mRNA and protein content of glucose transporter 4 (Glut4) were elevated by APS (p < 0.01). The APS treatment enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1, p < 0.05) and phosphor-Akt content (p < 0.01). Besides, phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) content was increased in the APS treated cells (p < 0.01). Taken together, APS improved insulin sensitivity by enhancing glucose uptake, possibly through AMPK activation. These results suggested that APS might be a therapeutic candidate for insulin resistance.

astragalus polysaccharide; adipogenesis; proliferation; insulin sensitivity; AMPK