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Momordica charantia (bitter melon) reduces plasma apolipoprotein B-100 and increases hepatic insulin receptor substrate and phosphoinositide-3 kinase interactions

  • Pratibha V. Nerurkar (a1), Yun Kyung Lee (a1), Megan Motosue (a1), Khosrow Adeli (a2) and Vivek R. Nerurkar (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2008

Aqueous extracts or juice from unripened fruit of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) has traditionally been used in the treatment of diabetes and its complications. Insulin resistance is characterized by significant down-regulation of hepatic insulin signalling as documented by attenuated phosphorylation of insulin receptor (IR), IR substrates 1 and 2, phosphoinositide-3 kinase, protein kinase B, and over-expression of phosphotyrosine phosphatase 1B. We recently demonstrated that bitter melon juice (BMJ) is a potent inhibitor of apoB secretion and TAG synthesis and secretion in human hepatoma cells, HepG2, that may be involved in plasma lipid- and VLDL-lowering effects observed in animal studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of BMJ on plasma apoB levels and hepatic insulin signalling cascade in mice fed high-fat diet (HFD). Female C57BL/6 mice (4–6 weeks old) were randomized into three groups receiving regular rodent chow, HFD and HFD+BMJ. The data indicate that BMJ not only improves glucose and insulin tolerance but also lowers plasma apoB-100 and apoB-48 in HFD-fed mice as well as modulates the phosphorylation status of IR and its downstream signalling molecules. Investigating the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in amelioration of diabetic dyslipidaemia by BMJ may lead to identification of new molecular targets for dietary/alternative therapies.

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*Corresponding author: Dr Pratibha V. Nerurkar, fax +1 808 956 3582, email
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