A pinboard by
Yiren Yue

United States, University of Massachusetts Amherst


We used C. elegans as an animal model to study the anti-obesity effects of food-based bioactives.

My research mainly focuses on the investigation of the function of food-based bioactive compounds, aiming to target obesity and obesity-related diseases through a natural-based, innovative and healthy way.

Obesity has become one of the leading contributors to a number of chronic illnesses all over the world, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. The growing obese rate year by year leading to the growing demand of anti-obesity therapies. Obesity has become an increasing worldwide health problem in recent decades. Factors including rapid life style, eating habits, environment pollutants, etc. all contribute to the development of obesity. With the growing demand for anti-obesity therapies, naturally occurring bioactive ingredients cater to a desire for health and safety and rising their popularity among consumers.

My research as a Phd student addresses this topic by determining the anti-obesity effect of natural-based compounds using C. elegans as an in vivo animal model. Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-studied animal model that has been widely used in obesity research. The compact size, transparent body, short life cycle and conserved genetic pathways make C. elegans to be an ideal model to screen and identify small molecules for anti-obesity therapies.

In addition to identifying effective bioactive components and elucidating their underlying mechanisms, we furthermore determines the toxicological profiles of those compounds to provide an overall and solid foundation for their further industrial or medical application as anti-obesity supplementation or drugs.


3,3'-Diindolylmethane Suppresses Adipogenesis Using AMPKα-Dependent Mechanism in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and Caenorhabditis elegans.

Abstract: 3,3'-diindolylmethane is a major in vivo metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, a bioactive compound found in cruciferous vegetables. Although 3,3'-diindolylmethane has been implicated to possess antitumorigenic and anti-inflammatory properties, the effect of 3,3'-diindolylmethane on adipogenesis has not been explored previously. Thus, the present study was conducted to determine if 3,3'-diindolylmethane affects adipogenesis using 3T3-L1 adipocytes and Caenorhabditis elegans. Treatment of 3,3'-diindolylmethane significantly reduced fat accumulation without affecting viability in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. 3,3'-diindolylmethane suppressed expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4), and perilipin. In addition, 3,3'-diindolylmethane activated AMP-activated protein kinase α (AMPKα), which subsequently inactivated acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC), resulting in reduced fat accumulation. These observations were further confirmed in C. elegans as treatment with 3,3'-diindolylmethane significantly reduced body fat accumulation, which was partly associated with aak-1, but not aak-2, orthologs of AMPKα catalytic subunits α1 and α2, respectively. The current results demonstrate that 3,3'-diindolylmethane, a biologically active metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, may prevent adipogenesis through the AMPKα-dependent pathway.

Pub.: 02 May '17, Pinned: 31 Jul '17

Anti-obesity effects of tea from Mangifera indica L. leaves of the Ubá variety in high-fat diet-induced obese rats.

Abstract: Due to the high content of bioactive compounds, herbal teas are being investigated as adjuvant in chronic disease management. Studies have shown that mango leaf tea contain mangiferin, total phenolics and antioxidants, compounds with many functional properties. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the anti-obesity effects of tea from Mangifera indica L. leaves, Ubá variety (TML), in obese rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD). For this, adult male Wistar rats were divided into three groups (n=8): the control group (fed AIN-93 diet), obese group (fed a HFD) and treated group (fed a HFD and supplemented with TML for 8 weeks). We analysed biometric measures and serum biochemical parameters of metabolic control, inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers, histomorphometry of visceral adipose tissue and mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1 alpha (PPAR-γ), lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). The consumption of TML (24.7±2.1mL/day) exerted antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, increasing total antioxidant capacity and interleukin-10 serum concentrations, reduced abdominal fat accumulation, upregulated PPAR-γ and LPL and downregulated FAS expression. Our data suggest that TML has therapeutic potential in treating obesity and related diseases through regulating the expression of transcriptional factors and enzymes associated with adipogenesis.

Pub.: 19 May '17, Pinned: 31 Jul '17

The evaluation and utilization of marine-derived bioactive compounds with anti-obesity effect.

Abstract: Obesity is a global epidemic throughout the world. There is thus increasing interest in searching for natural bioactive compounds with anti-obesity effect. A number of marine compounds have been regarded as a potential source of bioactive compounds and are associated with an anti-obesity effect.Marine-derived compounds with anti-obesity effect and their current applications, methods and indicators for the evaluation of anti-obesity activity are summarized in this review. in order to make contributions to the development of marine-derived functional food against obesity.In this review, an overview of marine-derived compounds with anti-obesity effect, including marine polysaccharides, marine lipid, marine peptides, marine carotenoids are intensively made with an emphasis on their efficacy and mechanism of action. Meanwhile, methods and indicators for the evaluation of anti-obesity activity are discussed. We summarize these methods into three categories: in vitro assay (including adsorption experiments and enzyme inhibitory assay), cell line study, animal experiments and clinical experiments. In addition, a brief introduction of the current applications of marine bioactive compounds with anti-obesity activity is discussed.Marine environment is a rich source of both biological and chemical diversity. In the past decades, numerous novel compounds with anti-obesity activity have been obtained from marine organisms, and many of them have been applied to industrial production such as functional foods and pharmaceuticals. Further studies are needed to explore the above-mentioned facts.

Pub.: 03 Jun '17, Pinned: 31 Jul '17