This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Monascus purpureus-fermented Angelicae gigantis Radix (FAG) on body weight gain, visceral fat accumulation, biochemical markers of obesity, and the mRNA expression levels of various genes involved in adipogenesis in a high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced rat model of obesity. Effect of nodakenin isolated from Angelicae gigantis on 3T3-L1 preadipocyte differentiation was also investigated in vitro. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 6 per group) based on five dietary categories: HFD control, HFD + 2.5% (w/w) AG, HFD + 5% AG, HFD + 2.5% FAG, and HFD + 5% FAG. Present study investigated nodakenin isolated from AG and FAG roots by measuring fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 preadipocyte using Oil Red O staining. FAG administration effectively lowered the body weight gain, visceral fat accumulation, and hepatic and serum lipid and leptin concentrations in obese rats. In addition, FAG administration significantly reduced the mRNA expression levels of adipose tissue genes encoding adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ 2 (PPARγ2), and CCAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) as compared with HFD group. Furthermore, nodakenin reduced the fat accumulation in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes in a dose-dependent manner. FAG ameliorates HFD-induced obesity, probably by modulating multiple genes associated with adipogenesis in the visceral fat tissue of rats. Accordingly, fermented Angelicae gigantis may be an ideal candidate for obesity relief.
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