Irisin, derived from FNDC5, is an exercise-induced myokine that can stimulate the ‘browning’ of white adipose tissue, which is regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1 α (PGC-1α). Dihydromyricetin (DHM), a natural flavonoid, exerts its activities through PGC-1α activation. Here, we explored whether DHM could mimic the effects of exercise on irisin secretion. DHM administration increased circulating irisin in rats and humans. Notably, the serum irisin level had a greater correlation to the level of circulating DHM than to the amount of exercise. DHM treatment upregulated PGC-1α and FNDC5 expression, enhanced energy metabolism, as evidenced by NMR-based metabonomics analysis, and partially abolished the suppressive effects of Pgc-1α siRNA on FNDC5 expression. These results suggest that DHM can stimulate irisin secretion partially via the PGC-1α pathway. As a potent exercise mimetic, DHM is expected to benefit patients suffering from metabolic diseases, especially those who cannot undergo rigorous exercise.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.