The aim of this study is to discuss the non-catechin flavonoids (NCF)from Camellia sinensis (L.)O. Kuntze seed improving TNF-α impaired insulin stimulated glucose uptake and insulin signaling. Flavonoids had anti-metabolic syndrome and anti-inflammatory properties. It had widely been known for biological activity of catechins in tea, but very few research reports discussed the biological activity of non-catechin flavonoids in tea seed. We used HepG2 cell to treat with 5 μM insulin or with 5 μM insulin + 30 ng/ml TNF-α. Detecting the glucose concentration of medium, insulin decreased the glucose levels of medium meant that insulin promoted glucose uptake into cells, but TNF-α inhibited the glucose uptake effect of insulin. Furthermore, insulin increased the protein expressions of IR, IRS-1, IRS-2, PI3K-α, Akt/PKB, GLUT-2, AMPK, GCK, pyruvate kinase, and PPAR-γ. TNF-α activated p65 and MAPKs (p38, JNK1/2 and ERK1/2), iNOS and COX-2 which worsened the insulin signaling expressions of IR, IRS-1, IRS-2, PI3K-α, Akt/PKB, GLUT-2, AMPK, GCK, pyruvate kinase, and PPAR-γ. We added NCF (500, 1000, 2000 ppm)to cell with insulin and TNF-α. Not only glucose levels of medium were lowered, and the protein expressions of insulin signaling were increased, but p38, JNK1/2, iNOS and COX-2 were also reduced. NCF could ameliorate TNF-α induced insulin resistance through inhibiting p38, JNK1/2, iNOS and COX-2, and suggested that it might be used in the future to help control insulin resistance. This finding is the first report to present the discovery.
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