A team of researchers in Korea believes to have discovered a synthetic gold-based compound which may help patients with obesity. The team led by Sunoh Kim, Deok-Chun Yang at Bioresources and Technology and Kyung Hee University, South Korea, respectively, investigated the anti-lipid accumulation effect of spherical gold nanoparticles (10-20 nm in size) synthesized from Dendropanax morbifera Léveille - a shrub which is endemic to the Korean peninsula. The nanoparticles, dubbed D-AuNPs, were tested in both 3T3-L1 and HepG2 cell lines, which are two known candidates for studying obesity and related disease models.
Research into gold nanoparticles is increasingly gaining the attention of researchers due to a rare combination of their potential medicinal benefits and environmental friendly implications. The team introduced a cocktail of the synthetic compound into 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and HepG2 hepatocytes.
"We found that the gold nanoparticles were nontoxic to 3T3-L1 at concentrations up to 100 μg/ml and HepG2 at post-confluent and mature stages," says Kim. Additionally, the team found that adipogenesis, the process that is responsible for the formation of fat cells, was inhibited. This inhibition was also companied by reduced concentrations of key metabolites and downregulation of genetic expression of the key proteins required for adipogenesis.
"We hypothesize that Dendropanax contains a large amount of phenolic compounds that coats the surface of gold nanoparticles and has the ability to reduce the excess amount of lipid in both cell lines.," add Kim.
Keywords: Gold nanoparticles, obesity, Dendropanax morbifera Léveille, PPARγ, 3T3-L1 and HepG2 cell lines.
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