Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside improves non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by promoting PINK1-mediated mitophagy in mice

Xinwei Li, Zhen Shi, Yiwei Zhu, Taiyu Shen, Heyuan Wang, Guanghou Shui, Juan J. Loor, Zhiyuan Fang, Meng Chen, Xinghui Wang, Zhicheng Peng, Yuxiang Song, Zhe Wang, Xiliang Du, Guowen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Identifying safe and effective compounds that target to mitophagy to eliminate impaired mitochondria may be an attractive therapeutic strategy for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Here, we investigated the effects of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (C3G) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the underlying mechanism. Experimental Approach: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was induced by a high-fat diet for 16 weeks. C3G was administered during the last 4 weeks. In vivo, recombinant adenoviruses and AAV8 were used for overexpression and knockdown of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), respectively. AML-12 and HepG2 cells were used for the mechanism study. Key Results: C3G administration suppressed hepatic oxidative stress, NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation and steatosis and improved systemic glucose metabolism in mice with NAFLD. These effects of C3G were also observed in palmitic acid-treated AML-12 cells and hepatocytes from NAFLD patients. Mechanistic investigations revealed that C3G increased PINK1/Parkin expression and mitochondrial localization and promoted PINK1-mediated mitophagy to clear damaged mitochondria. Knockdown of hepatic PINK1 abolished the mitophagy-inducing effect of C3G, which blunted the beneficial effects of C3G on oxidative stress, NLRP3 inflammasome activation, hepatic steatosis and glucose metabolism. Conclusion and Implications: These results demonstrate that PINK1-mediated mitophagy plays an essential role in the ability of C3G to alleviate NAFLD and suggest that C3G may be a potential drug candidate for NAFLD treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3591-3607
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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