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Objective: Studies have shown that the inability of adipose tissue to properly expand during the obese state or respond to insulin can lead to metabolic dysfunction. Artemisia is a diverse group of plants that has a history of medicinal use. The aim of this study was to examine the ability of ethanolic extracts of Artemisia scoparia (SCO) and Artemisia santolinifolia (SAN) to modulate adipocyte development in cultured adipocytes and white adipose tissue (WAT) function invivo using a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. Method: Adipogenesis was assessed using Oil Red O staining and immunoblotting. A nuclear receptor specificity assay was used to examine the specificity of SCO- and SAN-induced PPARγ activation. C57BL/6J mice, fed a high-fat diet, were gavaged with saline, SCO, or SAN for 2 wk. Whole-body insulin sensitivity was examined using insulin tolerance tests. WAT depots were assessed via immunoblotting for markers of insulin action and adipokine production. Results: We established that SCO and SAN were highly specific activators of PPARγ and did not activate other nuclear receptors. After a 1-wk daily gavage, SCO- and SAN-treated mice had lower insulin-induced glucose disposal rates than control mice. At the end of the 2-wk treatment period, SCO- and SAN-treated mice had enhanced insulin-responsive Akt serine-473 phosphorylation and significantly decreased monocyte chemotactic protein-1 levels in visceral WAT compared with control mice; these differences were depot specific. Moreover, plasma adiponectin levels were increased following SCO treatment. Conclusion: Overall, these studies demonstrate that extracts from two Artemisia species can have metabolically favorable effects on adipocytes and WAT. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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