Radiation Research Division for Biotechnology, Advanced Radiation Technology Institute (ARTI), Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), 1266, Shinjeong-dong, Jeongeup, Jeonbuk 580-185, Korea.
Obesity is a global health problem. It is also known to be a risk factor for the development of metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes, systemic hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerosis. In this study, we screened crude extracts from 400 plants to test their anti-obesity activity using porcine pancreatic lipase assay (PPL; triacylglycerol lipase, EC 220.127.116.11) in vitro activity. Among the 400 plants species examined, 44 extracts from plants, showed high anti-lipase activity using 2,4-dinitrophenylbutyrate as a substrate in porcine pancreatic lipase assay. Furthermore, 44 plant extracts were investigated for their inhibition of lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells. Among these 44 extracts examined, crude extracts from 4 natural plant species were active. Salicis Radicis Cortex had the highest fat inhibitory activity, whereas Rubi Fructus, Corni Fructus, and Geranium nepalense exhibited fat inhibitory capacity higher than 30% at 100 μg/mL in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, suggesting anti-obesity activity. These results suggest that four potent plant extracts might be of therapeutic interest with respect to the treatment of obesity.