Differentiated 4,4-dimethylsterols from vegetable oils reduce fat deposition depending on the NHR-49/SCD pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans†
Consumption of 4-desmethylsterols has been claimed to have many beneficial effects, but the benefits of 4,4-dimethylsterols are less appreciated. We utilized a nematode model, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), to explore the anti-obesity effects of different classes of 4,4-dimethylsterols purified from rice bran oil (RST) and shea nut butter (SST). Both SST and RST significantly reduced fat deposition in C. elegans with smaller sizes and numbers of lipid droplets. But the food intake was not significantly affected. Metabolomics analysis indicated a significantly altered pathway after treatment with 4,4-dimethylsterols. Finally, it was found that 4,4-dimethylsterols targeted stearoyl-CoA desaturases (SCD) and nuclear hormone receptor-49 (NHR-49), resulting in a reduced desaturation index as proved by a lower ratio of oleic acid (C18:1n-9) to stearic acid (C18:0). Overall, 4,4-dimethylsterols can inhibit fat deposition via regulating the NHR-49/SCD pathway in C. elegans.