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The activation of adipose tissue browning and thermogenesis provides a new strategy to counter obesity and associated metabolic diseases. Here, a natural flavonoid chrysin is used as the supplement of a high-fat diet (HFD). Dietary chrysin alleviates adiposity and insulin resistance in HFD-fed mice. Meanwhile, dietary chrysin elevates systemic energy expenditure and enhances the uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) level in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), which is accompanied by the increased thermogenic program, beige preadipocyte number, and angiogenesis in SAT. Dietary chrysin also induces the expression of SAT platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα), which commits adipose progenitor cells to differentiate into beige or white adipocytes in response to various environmental signals. Double immunofluorescent staining for UCP1 and PDGFRα reveals that chrysin elevates the number of UCP1+PDGFRα+ beige progenitors in SAT. Further, chrysin treatment reverses the effects of the specific PDGFRα inhibitor imatinib on browning differentiation of stromal vascular fraction cells from SAT. Finally, chrysin-induced adipocyte browning is correlated with the expressions of microRNAs as PDGFRα inhibitors or thermogenesis suppressors. In conclusion, dietary chrysin promotes subcutaneous adipocyte browning and systematic energy expenditure by regulating PDGFRα and microRNA expressions in HFD-fed mice.


Xin Wang, Hao Cai, Shanshan Shui, Yan Lin, Fangbin Wang, Lu Wang, Juan Chen, Jian Liu. Chrysin Stimulates Subcutaneous Fat Thermogenesis in Mice by Regulating PDGFRα and MicroRNA Expressions. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2021 Jun 02;69(21):5897-5906

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PMID: 34027663

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