Withasomniferol D, a new Anti-Adipogenic Withanolide from the Roots of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Lee, B.S.; Yoo, M.J.; Kang, H.; Lee, S.R.; Kim, S.; Yu, J.S.; Kim, J.-C.; Jang, T.S.; Pang, C.; Kim, K.H.
Withania somnifera (Solanaceae), well-known as 'Indian ginseng' or 'Ashwagandha', is a medicinal plant that is used in Ayurvedic practice to promote good health and longevity. As part of an ongoing investigation for bioactive natural products with novel structures, we performed a phytochemical examination of the roots of W. somnifera employed with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS)-based analysis. The chemical analysis of the methanol extract of W. somnifera roots using repeated column chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography under the guidance of an LC/MS-based analysis resulted in a new withanolide, withasomniferol D (1). The structure of the newly isolated compound was elucidated by spectroscopic methods, including one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and high-resolution (HR) electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectroscopy, and its absolute configuration was established by electronic circular dichroism (ECD) calculations. The anti-adipogenic activities of withasomniferol D (1) were evaluated using 3T3-L1 preadipocytes with Oil Red O staining and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). We found that withasomniferol D (1) inhibited adipogenesis and suppressed the enlargement of lipid droplets compared to the control. Additionally, the mRNA expression levels of adipocyte markers Fabp4 and Adipsin decreased noticeably following treatment with 25 μM of withasomniferol D (1). Taken together, these findings provide experimental evidence that withasomniferol D (1), isolated from W. somnifera, exhibits anti-adipogenic activity, supporting the potential application of this compound in the treatment of obesity and related metabolic diseases.