Muscle mass is regulated by the balance between the synthesis and degradation of muscle proteins. Loss of skeletal muscle mass is associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of licorice flavonoid oil on muscle mass in KK-Ay/Ta mice.Main methods:
Male genetically type II diabetic KK-Ay/Ta mice received 0, 1, or 1.5 g/kg BW of licorice flavonoid oil by mouth once daily for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the femoral and soleus muscles were collected for western blotting for evaluation of the mTOR/p70 S6K, p38/FoxO3a, and Akt/FoxO3a signaling pathways.Key findings:
Ingestion of licorice flavonoid oil significantly enhanced femoral muscle mass without affecting body weight in KK-Ay/Ta mice. Licorice flavonoid oil also decreased expression of MuRF1 and atrogin-1, which are both markers of muscle atrophy. The mechanisms by which licorice flavonoid oil enhances muscle mass include activation of mTOR and p70 S6K, and regulation of phosphorylation of FoxO3a.Significance:
Ingestion of licorice flavonoids may help to prevent muscle atrophy.